“What’s a steeple?” my first-born asks on Saturday when we cross over the railroad tracks.
We’re taking pictures of folks serving our city and the sky is crystal clear blue and those white steeples stand out against the vast expanse of blue. She had heard me say that they all look the same if you only look at the steeple and not the building to which they are attached.
“Well, steeples are those pointed, triangular things on top of most of the churches here,” I tell her.
“You mean those things with the crosses on top?” she asks. “What are they for?”
She rattles off more questions than I can answer and I can’t stop counting steeples. I count five more.
“I guess when some of these churches were built, the churches were the tallest buildings around. Maybe the steeples were added to the tops as a beacon to the community. You know, to show others where they could find the church. Where the people of the town could find out about Jesus,” I talk off the top of my head and I notice her eyes glaze over.
We drive on and the road narrows. I count one more steeple and suddenly I’m lost in a sea of faces so different than mine that I can’t help but notice.
I wish I didn’t notice, but I do.
We idle at a traffic light and I see a group of teenagers, on foot, down the road a bit. They are prayer walking the busy street and I know their hearts must be beating right out of their chests. I smile big and my own heart beats wildly.
And I know that this is how we make Christ known.
Not by steeples on buildings, but by feet on pavement and hands that serve and prayers lifted high by people laid low.
The light turns green and I make our way to the coin wash where I know that others are being blessed with free laundry services for the day. A group has gathered to bless their neighbors and to be a glimmer of light in the mundane activity of Saturday laundry. For when a mama has to decide between clean laundry and gas in the car, it is hard to have hope. This week, many mamas can have both.
And I know that this is how we give people the Hope of the world.
At another place across town, where the faces match the color of my own, a team of youth and adults gather to chop wood and repair a roof. They chop wood and nail boards and the owner of the house feels a break in the waves of stress that beat against her everyday. She serves the youth in her own community and we serve her so that she may continue to serve without such a heavy load weighing her down.
And I know that this is how we show the love of Christ. We love because He first loved us.
I snap pictures and I write here to tell the story of Jesus. To boast in His great name.
And I write to spur you on to good deeds in your own little space in this world.
May you and your family be a living, breathing, steeple that points to Christ, not by inviting others to you, but by you beating the pavement and meeting others where they are.
Because Jesus went to where the sinners were, and I’m so glad He did.
He found me, chief among them, and saved me.
And He saved you, too.