I am painting the church. The mission group that came in June began the project and painted all the high places and the windows. That's awesome! I volunteered to finish the job by painting the stucco over the summer.
Well, summer is basically gone, and I'm still painting...
I'm making progress! I am about 2/3 done. This is a bigger project than I expected because it's pretty high... and it's stucco. I mentioned that already? Oh. Well, if you've ever painted stucco, you'll understand why I'm repeating myself.
A large part of why I'm still painting in mid-September is people. See, Jesus didn't say, "Take good care of my church buildings." He said, "Feed my sheep." and "Love one another." There have been a few times this summer that I've wished He cared about His church buildings because I'd like to finish this job before our Centennial Celebration on the weekend of October 3rd.
But instead, I've stopped painting to allow our seven-year--old and her friends to swim. Being home-schooled, she doesn't have as many chances to play with friends as most kids, so I try to facilitate having friends over when I can.
And instead, I've sat down with an intoxicated man, listened to him meander through conversation about God, and prayed with him.
I've allowed the paint to dry on the brush as I interacted with a suicidal young man. Tears flowed freely when I told him that God had plans for him; he said that no one had ever said that to him before. He wasn't sure he believed it, but he's visited again, saying he felt safe here.
And instead of finishing the paint job, I've helped coach more than 50 youngsters in soccer, a game I've never played. But two more hands on the field have lessened the load for the adults in charge.
When today, instead of painting, I was chatting with my mother (whose birthday it is!), she said, "You must be frustrated by all the interruptions," I said, "Yes, sometimes, but really, people are more important than paint. This is the work God wants from me now."
And I realized it's true. If the church building is two-toned on our Centennial Celebration weekend, some people might care, but God won't. He will be happy that His people have been tended and loved. After all, He didn't say, "Make sure the church buildings look good."