Marred Memories

Published on Mar 26th, 2014 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Marred Memories

Marred Memories

Last week I was engaged in one of those activities that they forgot to teach us about in seminary…I was helping my friend shampoo the carpet in our church’s gym.  Due to the fact that I am the Pastor I was given the responsibility of pre-sprayer, cord holder, and water runner (in other words, please stay away from the carpet machine). As I was diligently pre-spraying I noticed a unique burn mark on the carpet in the shape of an iron.  Immediately I thought of my daughter in law Lydia.  I believe it was the first week she was here in New Jersey.  She and Nate jumped right in and began helping us prepare for our Easter Dessert Theater.  She was ironing some curtains and accidently knocked over the iron and burned the carpet.  That mar in the carpet, affectionately called “The Mark of Lydia”, has become a pleasant reminder of their time here at JBC and the impact that she had, and continues to have, in our lives.

I know that we would rather be remembered for the thousand things we have done right but those kinds of things often blend into the fabric of life. It is the little mess ups and funny stories that we remember.  Seeing “The Mark of Lydia” sent me down a road of many memories (let’s face it, holding a cord or pre-spraying does not take a ton of concentration).  All around our building are marred memories of the different people who have served the Lord at JBC.  They are not mars of failure but mars of flawed people giving of their best to their Lord.  Our church has had the privilege of being near a military base and being in New Jersey.  Military folks come and go in our lives (many folks would like to go from New Jersey!!).  That means that over the years we have known tons of people who were here for only a few years but jumped right in and ministered with us. They have left their mark on our lives and often on our building.

Do not let the fear of failure or imperfection stop you today from ministering.  Listen to the Spirit and seek to glorify God by being involved in people’s lives.  Yes, you may mess up a little and make a mark or two that you did not plan on but the beauty of serving the Lord is that He is able to take those mars and make them beautiful.  Our church building has been around since 1853.  There are mars in our building that we have no idea how they were made.  But we do know that they were made by people seeking to serve the Lord faithfully.  Those mars are testaments to a God who has used this place for His glory for so many years.  They are a testament of His faithfulness in using flawed people to do His work.

Recently we had a small flood in the first floor of our educational building.  The insurance company brought a company in and they rebuilt much of our first floor.  It is beautiful and a blessing from God.  But as I stood in the gym and held that cord my mind began to picture what we lost.  We lost all of the mars that shouted that so and so served here.  Gone is the dent in the wall where Brian was carrying tables up into the gym.  Gone is the ceiling with two color paints where John grabbed the wrong paint can after eight hours of painting.  Gone is the glue on the floor from the model building in KNO.  Gone is the hole in the ceiling where Smitty was working.  What we have now is a new slate to mess up.  A new slate where flawed people can give of their best and leave their mar! So go ahead and seek to serve today and don’t worry if you mess up.  God will take your mess ups and make them as beautiful as “The Mark of Lydia”.  

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