Monday, May 11, 2015

Ask Me

            At our church the Hospitality team wears blue shirts with the church logo and the words Guest Services on the front. Written on the back are the words: Ask me. I can help.” First time visitors to the church easily identify the shirts. They know we are able to help with such important information as, where the restrooms are located, where the children’s rooms are, how they can join a small group or sign up for classes or baptism. Any question people have about helping to serve at the church or getting involved, the people wearing blue shirts are able to answer. We can also pray with people who are hurting or direct them to the Pastor if they need counsel or prayer. The shirts work well in letting people know we can help with questions about the church.
            One Sunday, on the way home from church, I stopped at the grocery store. I sat in my car and thought about wearing my Guest Services shirt into the store. Everyone wears t-shirts with words on them, and nobody thinks anything about them, as least I don’t. I decided my shirt would blend in with all the other random t-shirts with words on them, and nobody would notice.
            At the self-check out there were four checkout stations on one side and four on the other. I chose one on the end and was almost finished when a woman approached me from behind.
“Excuse me,” she said. “I am having trouble with my receipt. One item got scanned twice, but then another item is not showing up even though I already scanned it. Can you help me with this?”
I looked around for a grocery store employee.
“You should probably ask someone who works here. I can’t help you with that.” I said.
“Well your shirt says to ask you and you can help.” She persisted.
“Yes, but I don’t work here. I know it is confusing, but this shirt is for my church. I help people there.”
I apologized and we both laughed.
            Had she asked what aisle the bread was on, I could have actually helped her and she never would have known I didn’t work there.

           It made me think about the shirts. If Christians wore matching shirts that said, “Ask me about God. I can help.” I wonder how many people would stop us and actually ask questions. Of course we wouldn’t have all the answers about God, but we certainly could answer some: How do we get to heaven? Is the Bible true? Who is Jesus? Does God really love people?
            Having matching shirts could easily identify us as followers of Christ, like other world religions do with their clothing.  Then I remembered, we are supposed to be easily identifiable to others. Jesus said, “Everyone will know you are my disciples if you love one another.” It would be easy to put on a t-shirt that identifies us as a Christian, and then act however we want, like we do with Christian bumper stickers.
            It hasn’t happened to me, but wouldn’t it be great if people asked us about God because of the way we acted? If we really were so different from others and easily identified as true followers of Jesus, that people stopped us in the grocery store and asked for spiritual help? 
            “You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”                                                                         Matthew 5:14