I received a comment in response to the question that I posed in reference to yesterday’s post when I asked: “What kind of mark should a Christian leave behind?” This very astute individual simply answered “Jesus Christ,” and he is completely correct. That answer though, really got me to thinking. What does that look like? What does it smell like? How would someone left in a Christian’s wake know that the mark of Jesus was left behind?
I then thought of the prayer that my wife always prayed as our kids were growing up. She regularly asked the Lord that people would notice our house to be a place of peace and joy. Wherever we lived, we were “that house” on the block where all the kids hung out. Our driveway was normally littered with bikes, scooters, skateboards, sticky Otter Pop wrappers and then hockey sticks and roller blades when they came into popularity. The sounds of laughter, yells of encouragement and the barking dog regularly emanated from our yard each afternoon. As I recalled those special times I could just see the Lord smiling and saying “that’s what I look like to a searching world!”
It was also a place where many of the visiting children sealed their eternal salvation with the Lord. I can’t even recall all the kids that prayed the salvation prayer with my wife over the years. Today some of those “kids” are an active part of the ministry at our church!
I also fondly remember a distant November day when my wife and kids had gone on an out of town field trip leaving me home alone to work on a book that I was writing at the time. My study in that house was in a room right next to the front door. Since it was still warm, I had the window open fairly wide. On that particular day one of the neighborhood boys must have come to the door at least a half a dozen times asking if our two younger children were home yet. Finally in desperation he reappeared at our door and stood there staring in the window until he got my attention. As I turned from my old computer and smiled at him, he sheepishly cleared his throat and stammered out: “Can YOU come out and play?”
That, I believe, is the sight, the sound and the smell of Jesus that we are to make in our local surroundings! In reading Genesis chapter one today, I noticed that our Heavenly Father did not rate His creation as “very good” until He had created man. I think that was because He had finally established the means for Him to make His mark among mankind. We are the body of Christ. We are the physical hands, feet, and mouth of Jesus on this planet. I know that you’ve probably heard it before, but its worth repeating. We may be the only Jesus that people ever see!
My wife’s prayer has been validated many times as visitors to our various homes over the years stopped when preparing to walk out the front door and turned back to make the comment “Your house is sure peaceful!” My wife would simply smile and reply “Praise the Lord” followed by a sincere “Thank you!”
What might you pray today in reference to the stamp of Christ that you would leave behind as you become a part of people’s lives? When was the last time a neighborhood kid asked if you could come out and play? Or a neighbor stopped by to ask if they could talk to you about the peace that emanates from you and/or your home? Think about it…
Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting today?”