Posted on : Wednesday December 9, 2009

By Bob Gerstmyer, Baptist Family & Children’s Services

Recently we wrote of a little boy in our CHOSEN program who was adopted by his foster mother (see our latest newsletter). I had seen a picture of him in this fabulous suit on adoption day and I knew there was a story behind the suit.

This past Tuesday I heard the rest of the story. A friend of the adoptive mother was extremely fond of “Nelson.” She learned that she had cancer and would not live much longer. She decided she would purchase a seersucker suit for him to wear to the adoption. In fact, she died before she could witness the adoption. Although she was not there in person, she was “there” in the form of that suit. What a wonderful tribute to that woman who understood the significance of that occasion. It will also serve as a reminder to “Nelson” of the new start he received because of people who reached out in compassion in his crisis and gave him the only thing he really needed – Love.

Every day it is our privilege to give people new starts. Refugees from the Congo are here in America and we are helping them get settled, learn the language, get jobs, and start new lives in this country. In another instance, a little boy came to us from the Department of Social Services as “Baby Unknown.” He was found wandering the streets of Baltimore and could not tell us who he was or where he came from. He now has a name, a birth certificate, and is able to apply for a Social Security card so that he can receive the services he needs to live a normal life.

When the people of the town of Nain witnessed a miracle performed by Jesus (Luke 7:11-17), they shouted, “the Lord has visited us, the Lord has visited us.” The Lord is about new life and new starts. It is our privilege to be His servants in giving people new starts. Thank you for your assistance as you continue praying for those we help. And pray for us!

In thinking about how we go about the work the Lord has called us to, I am reminded of something called the WOWSE concept. It is an acronym for “With Or Without Someone Else.” If you have ever been involved in a project you were committed to, you have come to this crossroads. You have probably said to yourself, “I will get this job done with or without anybody else.” True leadership is about a commitment so strong that a person is willing to complete the mission with or without anyone else.

Jesus was committed to preaching, teaching and healing regardless of whether the disciples came along. And in the end he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice regardless of the fact that no one else would or could. My mentor in the ministry, Richard Ledbetter, was like that. He was committed to the church achieving her mission and would do whatever it took to get the job done. He would never ask someone to do something he wasn’t willing to do. Another WOWSE person said he was that way because he was raised on a farm. Everybody pitched in to do whatever needed to be done. When a cow needed to be milked it didn’t matter whose turn it was to milk it. The job had to get done.

Families, businesses and churches would run much smoother if everyone had the attitude of “just get the job done.” The lack of this attitude is why true customer service is in such short supply in our businesses and even our churches. Jesus was a WOWSE person. How about you? What commitment are you wiling to follow through on with or without someone else? Think about it and do it!