Kim ... Christ-formed in a twenty-dollar experiment
Kim came to the “green” church as one who had trusted Christ in childhood, heard lots of sermons, and went to many Bible classes. She found herself at mid-life with so many responsibilities that church and vibrant Christian living had been crowded out by daily demands (or at least pushed to the edges of her life). Kim was genuinely a Christian, but had not connected with the nurturing or practical opportunities she needed to fully live-out her faith-life.
As soon as she started participating in the parking lot gathering, she started bringing food for the give-away box, and she brought good stuff. Almost as quickly, she began bringing her toddler grandchildren, who learned to go get food out of her kitchen and put it in a grocery bag whenever it was time to go to church. (Isn’t it interesting that this was their first perception of why people went to church!)
But mostly Kim began to grow in her personal prayer-life. She prayed not only about herself and her widely extended in-laws and “outlaws,” but she also prayed for co-workers and patients in her nursing career. She turned into the nurse everyone called on when they had a big problem or a dying patient, and she found great value in helping others.
More and more of her family noticed the “richness” in her life and began to turn to her in a new way. Many began coming with her to the “green” church.
Then she stuck her neck out. One Sunday the church gave everyone a sealed envelope and encouraged them to seek God’s guidance to someone they could help with the contents of that envelope. She did pray, and she noticed a maid at her hospital eating only crackers for lunch. Without opening the envelope or knowing what was inside, she told the maid that she had something to give her “as a reminder that God loved her,” and handed her the envelope! (Man, that took faith, because Kim didn’t know if money, or a scripture verse, or a paper cross was inside…only when she came back to church the next week did she learn that every envelope had $20 in it.)
Kim was hooked on noticing the people around her and how she might be “Jesus with skin on” in their lives.
Within two weeks, she found herself at a grocery store, on vacation, 300 miles from home. She had her “Christ-like” radar for helping others turned on, and she noticed a lady filling her cart with 3 gallons of milk and then frowning while she added up the cost. One mom knew another mom’s plight…buying food for kids without quite enough money to get all that was needed. So Kim, pulled out her own twenty dollar bill and said, “I don’t want to be intrusive, but I’m a mom too and just wanted to pass this on to help with your grocery shopping today…and to remind you that God cares about you.” Neither mom will ever forget that encounter, or God’s presence in that brief exchange!
Well, Kim continues to pray and help patients spiritually, beyond the duties of a nurse. Her 20-something niece was baptized recently (as the church surrounded her at a backyard pool) and two more young adults in her family are now considering Christ seriously for the first time. Naturally, she keeps her eyes open for God-arranged encounters with anyone who needs her help, and she always carries a twenty dollar bill.
She is one of the “richest” Christ-followers I know!