“Dear God, please help Aunt Audrey to become a nurse.” – Phoebe
My sister is defending her doctoral dissertation today. During breakfast we prayed for her to do a good job. When it was Phoebe’s turn she hedged the bets so if Audrey did not make doctor – at least she could be a nurse!
Of course Phoebe does not like medical doctors. They always seem to give her shots (“pokes” as she calls them) and I imagine she had some dilemma praying for my sister’s success – does the world really need another person who pokes people with needles?
Phoebe’s prayer is a common confusion. If I told you my sister was a doctor you would automatically ask her about the rash on your son’s back. But this would only frighten Audrey; because, while she is now Dr. Audrey, her profession is a middle school teacher.
How many Middle School teachers have their doctorate? I only had one and it is exciting that Audrey will be that one for other students. But in the public school she has to deal with so many folks not awed by her title. She has kids fall asleep in class, others talk during her lectures, one even brought a hamster to class (a great story, as Audrey saw the girl’s purse moving…).
Audrey does not expect her title to carry the classroom. She expects her teaching to capture the student’s imagination. To quiet the talkers. To awaken the sleepers. (Unfortunately no one’s teaching could keep the hamster in the purse!)
As the church. As a deacon. As a pastor. Do not be confused, our titles mean little in this world. Our buildings do not matter. Our programs. Our sermons. Our tradition. Our music. Our stories. None of this matters to a world talking about themselves. None of this matters in a world asleep to the reality of God.
The world needs to be poked awake.
And this will only happen if we go out to them. If we live out the love of Christ for them. This is why our church is sending a team to Haiti (we leave Saturday). This is why on June 9th we are going to pause normal Sunday worship services. Instead of listening to me preach, we are going out into the community. Each of us will preach with our lives as we paint and weed and visit nursing homes and fold clothes and … we will transform our worship service to show true service and worship to the community. (Click here for more details on Serve Sunday.)