Sister Pat = a no-nonsense, in-your-face, take no crap from nobody, serious, all business, fire you on the spot, rehire you on the same spot, tough as nails nun. This little nun was no joke! Truth is she had to be that way to deal with these inner city kids she was responsible for. In retrospect, she had a great heart - and I'm sure still does.
We had a great time there! Lots of laughing, joking and learning went on in that woodshop. There were many great memories and some not so great. But this one particular day taught me a great lesson:
As usual, we were joking around and laughing. This time it was "make fun of Sister Pat day". We made fun of everything we could think of - maybe too much! She gave us several warnings to lower our voices and control our laughter but we would continue. For a moment, she briefly walked out of the room and came back in only to catch us making fun if her. I was sure we would all hear, "Izzy, Franky, Billy, Sammy (names were changed to protect the innocent) YOU'RE FIRED!" as we had heard many times before. Instead she put her head down, walked toward her desk and between her weeping barely got the following words out: "and you're supposed to be Christians".
OUCH! It was as if someone took a samurai sword and shoved it through my heart in a lower-case T motion! I would rather be fired than hear that! We made Sister Pat cry!
Since I was the PK and the oldest of our group, I eventually gathered enough courage to approach her and apologized. Things seemed to be back to normal but I learned a hard lesson that day - we represent Christ wherever we go!
I've heard this phrase thrown around a lot, "you may be the only Jesus someone sees". When you really think about it, that's a pretty tough responsibility! There are so many people all around us depending on us: at work, school, neighborhood, grocery store and even our family gatherings. We MUST represent Jesus well if we are to reach those around us.
Now some might take this to the extreme and try to shove Jesus down people's throats but I would argue that it is the little things that we do on a daily basis that will demonstrate Jesus (or the lack of Him) in us to others. Here are just 5 little things we can do:
- Treat your coworkers with love even though they may not deserve it.
- Work as if God was your Boss.
- Say hello to your neighbors every time you see them.
- Choose your words wisely around your family.
- Show God's joy in you by smiling!
As I'm reminded of this "Sister Pat" experience, I am committed to represent Him well one day at a time by asking the Holy Spirit to help me as I "gear-up" daily! I challenge you to do the same.
God's plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God. (Colossians 1:27 GNT)