I saw God yesterday. He went to my church. Yes, I know it was Sunday. Yes, I know that we are supposed to see God at church and yes, I know that if you are paying attention that you can see God in many things. But I also know that even though I’m a preacher, there are still moments when I must strain to see through my fear, doubt and cynicism to catch a glimpse of Him.
A friend of mine who is also a preacher humorously expressed his irritation that eventually he would have to start living out the things he was saying. Amusing, but true. We have been gearing up for an event called Barefoot Sunday for quite a while now. We took a Sunday to donate shoes to our friends in our own church family, to the homeless in downtown Dallas and to our family in Jinotega, Nicaragua. We would donate shoes, but also wear a pair of shoes we chose to donate. At a point in our service, our people removed their shoes and presented their gifts to the altar, returning to their seats barefoot.
I have only been here at this church for two and a half years and I wasn’t sure if they would participate or if they would sit back and watch the event from a distance. I know that some were skeptical. I know that some looked at this as a gimmick; just another cute idea that was a way to fill a Sunday. But I also knew that some were passionately connected to this idea and were fully invested. But even though I knew some were ready, I also knew some were not. I spent a lot of time in prayer, intently listening for God’s voice in the midst of other voices.
This month I’m preaching on trust and as my friend has said, it is tough when you have to start living out the things you say. Trust is something you choose to do. In the weeks leading up to this event, I chose to trust; trust that God would show up…and he did.
I heard Him in the music that we sang. I heard Him in the words that were spoken. I saw Him in the faces of the children as they came to give all they had to our missionary from Nicaragua, Mr. Benny. I saw Him in each pair of shoes that were brought to me…still warm from the feet that, only seconds before, occupied them. I saw Him in the bare and socked feet that slowly ambled back to their seats. I heard Him in the prayer from our Shepherd and in the energetic conversation after we dismissed. I may not have seen God’s face on Sunday, but I saw his feet. I saw his hands and I saw the body of his Son clearly active and generous. When I recognized him, the tears came as did the shortness of breath and the increase in my pulse. I was in the midst of the kingdom of heaven and it was beautiful to behold!
I believe with all of my heart that this day happened because I trusted God to show up. But, I know I was not alone in inviting him to be a part of this experience. I know I was not alone in the trust I put in him to do something miraculous. I am thankful to know I was not alone.
Something amazing happened in our Church family yesterday. God Showed up… and left behind a lot of shoes! I think I will trust that he returns…soon.
To watch the service Click here.