I remember it like yesterday. One of the most profound, life-changing experiences of my life.
I was in my early 20’s and working two jobs. The flexible schedules were nice. My first job, managing a crisis pregnancy center, was my passion. The second job, working as an executive assistant, paid the bills.
On this memorable day I got a call from my second boss while I was at the Crisis Pregnancy Center. She asked if I could come to a last-minute event with a celebrity to mingle and represent the company. I gladly agreed, saying that I’d have to come straight from work with no change of clothes, so I might not look the most presentable.
That day was exhausting. It was busy. Clients in and out. Babies throwing up on me. Quick staff meeting where the conclusion was: Keep sharing the love of Jesus. One client, who lived on a park bench, broke down sobbing on my shoulder. She left her tears, and the smell of not having a shower, on me. As the day ended and I ran out the door to the celebrity event, I did my best to freshen up. But, there was no doubt about it. I was going to take the essence of the clinic with me.
The celebrity event went well. When it was over I was ready to do nothing more than go home and sip a nice cup of tea. On the way home, though, my boss called to scold me for ruining the event with my unprofessional appearance. My hygiene, she said, was an issue in my job performance that night. I explained that I was sorry it had an impact on the evening.
Then, I caught myself as a Bible verse came flooding in my mind. “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” Did I regret my decisions that day? Would I rather sacrifice my time and personal comfort to love and serve young ladies who need to know about Jesus?
Although I was disappointed that she wasn’t fully satisfied with the outcome of the evening, I wasn’t sorry that my mission to love Jesus and to serve Him through loving others had spilled from one part of my life to another. Far too often we as Christians like to have nice little boxes to live in. We are comfortable serving at the soup kitchen on a Saturday afternoon as long as we get a shower to wash the stink off before an evening with our friends. We are inclined to write a check to the ministry helping orphans, but we don’t consider opening our home to abandoned, confused little boys and girls.
We don’t like to carry the stink from sharing the love of Jesus to sin-ridden places because our peers might make snide remarks or give us sideways glances. It’s uncomfortable. The truth is that sometimes serving Jesus stinks. And there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.
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