A family in our church is wanting to sell their current starter home in a small city about 15 miles from our church. They’re looking for something a bit larger and in a smaller community. They told me recently about a certain house they found in the town only a couple miles from where we live, so I decided to check it out on one of the real estate websites. As I scrolled through pictures of the house, it struck me as a home that would be good for their family.
And then “Holy Cow!” (A phrase of joyful surprise that entered my vocabulary years ago from listening to Twins radio announcer Halsey Hall call a home run.) Something familiar caught my eye as I flipped from photos of one room to the next. It couldn’t be - could it?! I zoomed in on a painting on the wall. Sure enough! It was a watercolor painting of a dragonfly that Violet had done years ago. How cool is that! Again, "Holy Cow!"
Later that same evening Violet and I were driving through town and I noticed in one of the backyards a yard-art fish Violet had sold at least ten years ago. The sight of that fish took me back to the day that creation was sold at a fund-raising auction. I remembered how excited the buyers of that fish were as the auctioneer pointed to them indicating they had the winning bid! They were thrilled as they came up to tell Violet about “the perfect spot” in their yard where they were going display her creation! And, "Holy Cow!" it is still in that spot after all these years!
As I thought about those two by-chance sightings, it occurred to me that there is an important “Simple Truth” lesson in those experiences:
God often puts us into people’s lives just to brighten their day. Some of those day-brighteners are “here today and gone tomorrow.” But every-so-often one of them just keeps on giving and makes a lasting difference in someone’s life.
At the time, we never know which things we say or do will last and which will be momentary. The key is to remember this: Our job is to simply do things that bring joy. God is in charge of how long they keep on bringing that joy. (But, Holy Cow! What a joy it is when He gives us a glimpse of the things we’ve done that have remained!)
About a month ago we took a family vacation. We rented a house and invited our grown kids to come and spend a few days with us in Cooperstown, NY (the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame). This year two of my favorite players from my earliest days as a Twins fan, Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat, were being inducted into the Hall of Fame
Violet told someone about our trip and the person responded, “I don’t get it. Seems like idol worship.”
Nope. That person definitely did not “get it!” The trip wasn’t about baseball players or the game. It was about family, making memories and connections.
I love baseball, because it was a connection with my dad - one of the first connections I can remember. That connection started one summer night in 1965 at about 10 o’clock. (This was the year the Twins won their first pennant!) I was five years old. My mom had already gone to bed, and Dad was in the kitchen listening to the ball game on a radio we had that sat on a shelf up high. Mom sent me out to tell Dad it was time to turn the radio off and come to bed. I went out. But before I could open my mouth, Dad said, “C’mere. You gotta hear this!” And he scooped me up and put my ear to the radio. A lifelong connection was made! Baseball was a connection with my dad that endured until he died. To this day, I still much prefer listening to games on the radio over watching them on TV, because that’s what dad did. (If memory serves, what I heard that night was the replay of an important home run by Harmon Killebrew!)
Reflecting on that day, it struck me that the connection was made, not because dad convinced me to like baseball by using statistics or logic or anything else. He simply made an invitation for me to join him in something that he enjoyed. What kid (or grandkid) doesn’t want a parent (or grandparent) to invite them to share in a happy experience!
Then this thought hit me: “That’s just how Jesus did it too!” He made connections with his disciples, not by giving them a lengthy dissertation on why they should follow Him or by reciting proofs that He really was the Messiah. He simply made an invitation, “Follow me,” or “Come and see.”
I guess the lesson is two-fold. First, if you’re a parent or grandparent wanting to make a connection with a child (no matter what age), try giving a simple invitation for them to join you in some activity you enjoy. And second, if you are wanting to connect someone to Jesus, a simple invitation to “Come and see,” could be the best place to start.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.