Monday, August 20, 2007

We tried...

This weekend, we tried to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

We weren't exactly sure what to do, but we wanted to do SOMETHING. The heat here - as in many parts of the country - has been horrendous lately, and the news just announced that 8 people have died in the past couple of weeks due to high temps.

In our travels about town, we see people walking in the heat and it struck me one day that someone may need a drink of water. (I get thirsty if I'm away from home for 30 minutes - riding in a car!) So we bought some cases of water, and I printed labels to put on them. The labels were a paraphrased version (Tracy-style) of John 3:16, telling people about Jesus, and that all they have to do is call out His name, confess their sins and ask forgiveness, and Jesus will save them. TODAY! I proclaimed on the label. Then I signed it "Jesus Loves YOU!"

But water wasn't enough. We decided to get some individually wrapped treats, too, and added the labels to them as well. (Did you know they make "Scooby Snacks" for dogs (dog biscuits shaped like Scooby and friends) and for people (graham crackers shaped like bones)?)

Then we set out to give away our goodies. We decided to drive around town, and just hand them out to people walking or working. I envisioned guys hanging out on hoods of cars in parking lots or something, or doing manual labor on the side of the road somewhere. My visions were sure off. They're too smart to do that when it's so hot - and it was the WEEKEND. They were all at Walmart!

After about 2 hours of driving around and not finding people, I said, "Let's try the new Walmart parking lot." Yep, sure enough, everyone in town was there. We gave out a whole cooler of water, and bags of goodies in short time. Most people just smiled and thanked us - a few reactions surprised us.

First, there was the man who chased us across the parking lot after we gave some to him. We hadn't seen him coming or we'd have saved him some steps. But when he got to us - out of breath - he puffed out, "What church?" We told him we weren't with a church group, that it was just us, but that we belonged to Catoma Baptist. He asked where it was, then told us that he was a minister himself, and that he'd have to look us up. He was very appreciative and kept shaking our hands.

Then there was an older gentleman hobbling out to his car. We offered him the water and goodies. He looked at us like we were from Mars and said, "No. I don't want anything" and walked away.

A middle-aged red-faced lady was next. She was loading bags and bags into her car, and looked worn out. We pulled up beside her and held out the water and bag of cookies and said, "Here, we'd like to give these to you." She stood up straight, crossed her arms and said, "Why?" It surprised us a bit, and we stumbled over words, but then said, "Well, you looked like you could use it." She MELTED, came at us, and greedily grabbed the goodies. She then poured out her heart and said she'd just spent two hours in Walmart and was totally wiped. Not being a shopper myself, I TOTALLY understood! When we drove off, she was chugging the water, and reading the label we'd stuck on the cookies.

I'm not sure if this is exactly what Jesus would call being the hands and feet for him, but I felt like we were definitely planting seeds, and we plan to do this regularly for awhile as God leads, and be open to whatever else He has for us to do.

We serve an awesome God!!

How about you? Did you try anything this weekend? Share with us!


kc said...

What an awesome idea! I wish I would've thought of it.

Tracy Ruckman said...

Thanks, Karri! Wish I could say it was an original idea, but I've seen it done somewhere else (I just wish I could remember where...)

Pam Meyers said...

Tracy asked me to leave a post here that I put up on the American Christian Fiction Writers prayer loop. For years I've beleived in lifestyle evangelism and I'm in the midst of it without going more that a few steps from my condo door. Here's the post:

I’ve often heard it said that our mission field begins at home. I live in a condo building and a nice elderly couple and their grown son live on first floor. The husband’s family is being hit hard these days with one brother in law dying of pancreatic cancer and being buried today, a brother hospitalized with heart problems, the husband recently treated for a blood clot in his lung, and this morning I learned the wife went to the hospital yesterday with a very painful hernia.

In these warm summer months I’ve spent a lot of time sitting on their patio and visiting, mostly with the wife Pat. She knows about my faith, my writing, and my friends. She’s shared a little of her spiritual background after asking which church I attended, but nothing personalized. This morning when I learned she was in the hospital and probably set for surgery, I stopped in and talked with her husband Tim. I said I’d be praying and he immediately told me that God was mean and wouldn’t allow a good person like his wife to suffer. Of course his family right now is suffering horribly with death and illness. No matter what I said he was resolute. I felt so inadequate and at a lack for the right words to say. We eventually got onto talking about other things. I stayed and listened to him as he needed to talk. He’s really hurting because Pat is hurting. I left with a grin saying I would be praying, implying he wasn’t going to stop me LOL. He knows I mean well but doesn’t believe it’s worth the time.

Please pray for the Holts as well as for me. I have no doubt God has had me becoming more friendly with them this summer for a reason and yet they are so closed to Him.


Pam Meyers said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Macromoments said...

Tracy, this really speaks to my heart, because it is the very thing I've been contemplating lately, too. I've passed it along to a friend who is in the habit of serving God exactly this way. She approaches each day with her hands and heart wide-open.

I loved this reminder. Thank you!