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My Dad at Wal-Mart

For over 20 years, I have written words for others. I am thankful for that work. But sometimes I simply need to write my own words.

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My DadHow did we come up with the idea (read: LIE) that in order to be “the best Christian” or “a better Christian” we have to be like our pastor, some other Christian leader or someone else we know?  We’ve all thought it.  Don’t deny it.

But it’s extremely clear in 1 Corinthians 12 that we have each been given different gifts by the Lord — on purpose.  I mean, just look at Jesus’ disciples.  They were each so incredibly different.  So very unique.  So NOT what the religious leaders of the day thought they should be.

As I watched my Dad walking through Wal-Mart and then talking to people at the local lumberyard on a visit back home, this whole idea became crystal clear to me…

You see, my Dad considers himself a man who doesn’t “do much” for Christ.  But that, my friends, is just a LIE.  That man shines Jesus to me, to my sister, to my brother, to my husband, to my sister-in-law, to my mom, to my nieces and nephew, to my friends…to all of us.  He has blessed us through his outgoing personality, through his servant’s heart, through his amazing building and construction skills…through his love.  Because of my Dad, I know — without a shadow of a doubt — that I DO HAVE (that I CAN HAVE) a Heavenly Father who unconditionally loves me as well (in fact, HE loves ALL OF US!).

I wish you could have seen Dad that day at Wal-Mart in my little Iowa hometown.  He left me shopping to run to the bathroom.  I found him about 10 minutes later — after I’d finished shopping and checked out — sitting on a bench in the front of the store talking to someone.  Chatting away as though he didn’t have a care in the world…as though he had all the time in the world.  Time for that person.  And he hadn’t made it to the bathroom yet.  He was too busy using one of his gifts — his friendly, outgoing personality and laughing, jovial spirit.  Helping people feel recognized, valued, noticed, appreciated.

If that’s not Christ in him, then I don’t know what is.

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  1. I want to write how much I love this because of how much I love this man–my Dad also–but that seems too little to say. His gifts are many and he contributes so much to the body of Christ and FOR the body of Christ. Such a great reminder, Jenny, of how our simple, daily, unseen and largely unknown actions and reactions can REALLY be disguised as something more. Something far more than we think they are…

    Thanks for this post and for this reminder. I love you. We are such, such fortunate daughters. Such gifts I know I don’t deserve but I am so grateful.

  2. Mike Wolfe says:

    Profoundly true – thanks, Jenny. May we be people like Gary Wolfe!

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