By Gayla Parker, BCM/D WMU Executive Director, SBC WMU Missions Innovator Specialist, BCM/D Missionary for Missions Education/Customization
On occasion my best friend, Jan who lives in Monroe, La., mails me a “goody box” with all of my favorite things. Things like Cold Brew coffee from New Orleans or my favorite candle from the gift shop. At the beginning of this summer she added sandals to my gift box. It was great!
Over the Fourth of July weekend while out and about with family, I wore the sandals from Jan. At the mall, at the restaurant, at Inner Harbor and in Canton women stopped us and asked, “Where did you buy those sandals?” In Canton two women were literally chasing us down to ask me about my sandals. Once they caught up to us they said, “Yes, we are stalking you because we want your shoes.” Before the weekend was over it became the family joke. “Who is stalking you now?”
As we walked home I had to wonder, “If people can stalk me down to ask about a cute pair of sandals why are there not people stalking me down because they see Jesus in my life?” So I wondered, what was it about the sandals that caused all the attention?
First of all they were unique. They are hand painted wooden sandals. The soles of the shoes are painted with hot pink and lime green flowers. The top of the shoes are lime green with a hot pink flower on top. For you men who are reading this, I can just see your faces. The expressions on the faces of my three sons were probably the same as yours are now. It is definitely a girl thing. Nonetheless, the shoes are unique.
God made each of us unique. We all have different gifts and talents that are ours for the using. When David went to battle with Goliath, he did not rely on the armor of Saul to win the fight. He relied on his skills as a shepherd boy because that was his talent given from God. Was it the expected talent for someone fighting a giant? Probably not. Most would have assumed that only a well trained mighty` warrior could win this battle and that a shepherd boy with a sling shot would be killed instantly. But you see, it wasn’t David that God wanted to get the glory, it was Him. The Israelites had no question as to the power of God at the end of the battle. Only God could have used a slingshot to kill a very large well-trained soldier!
When we stray from the uniqueness of who we are in Christ we may miss an opportunity to experience a victory like none other. It is through our uniqueness that God gets to shine. David said in Psalm 139, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful.”
If God’s works are wonderful and we are a part of His work, then we are indeed wonderful.
In today’s culture everyone is looking for that one thing that makes them unique and wonderful.
Look no farther, your very creation is unique and wonderful. When our thoughts, hearts, creativity, personality, appearance, demeanor, actions and reactions are in line with who we are in Christ then just maybe someone will stalk us down to find out what makes us unique and wonderful.
Secondly, the shoes looked fun. In today’s economic climate life is stressful and hard. People are looking for any way possible to find relief from the stress. As believers we have the solution, peace in Christ. Does that mean we will not be affected by the economy? No. One of my friends just lost her job today. But the difference is she knows God has been going before her and He will provide. She is at peace with the situation. In spite of the phone call she received this morning this afternoon she is still smiling. My guess is her co-workers who also received that call today will be stalking her to learn how she has kept her smile and confidence in the midst of loosing a job.
Each time I wear my sandals I will wonder if I’m allowing my uniqueness to shine so that God can shine. I will wonder if I’m showing peace and confidence regardless of my situation. I will wonder if I’m showing the world something that is worth stalking. My sandals will be too worn to wear one day but Jesus is for all eternity. There is nothing more worth stalking than that!