Sunday, January 20, 2013

Going to Work with Dad

I remember going to work with my Dad.  It was the early 80s and he worked at Polaroid in Atlanta, Georgia.  I didn't get to see him very often and realize that this was probably during the 4 weeks I went to visit him and my step-mother in the summer.  I wore a dress; I adored his secretary, Linda Kersey; I sat a desk near her and typed on the type writer.  She also let me do some sorting of receipts putting them in order by date so she could file them more easily.  They were on some type of carbon paper that felt strange and good all at the same time.  I drew on the white board in the conference room and met people that worked with my dad, shaking their hands and being on my best behavior just hoping that he was   proud of me and I wasn't embarrassing him.  I took part in his daily activity; it was a shared experience.

Toward the end of Winter Break 2012, David took turns taking the boys to work with him one on Thursday, another on Friday. They loved it; getting to know the people he worked with; going to lunch with him; seeing the warehouse attached to his office; and just being one on one with him for the day.   They witnessed the influence that he has in the lives of those he interacts with on a daily basis.  They took part in his daily activity; it was a shared experience.

The first time I distinctly remember going to work with God, my Heavenly Father I was in Clearwater, Florida.  A small group and I had broken away from our designated assignments for the Spring break mission trip, had pooled some of our food money for the week, bought and had monogrammed two leather Bibles, and were walking behind two large smelly dumpsters to say goodbye to two homeless men we had befriended during the week. They were veterans who had lost most everything they loved during their deployments; had given up on hope in life; and who were not accepted in the large church where we were assisting with coffee houses to draw in other college students in the area.  They were not the target for our trip; they were not the specific audience for whom we had prayed in preparation for our trip; but their lives were the ones whom He had planned to intersect ours.  Their stories would change us as much if not more than ours would change theirs. I took part in God's daily activity of touching their hearts once again in the rhythm of His heartbeat for us.

Other trips to His office included loving children in New York and working to stock a food pantry in Manhattan, moving my bed in front of the door to keep some beautiful girls from sneaking out in Panama City and eventually them not seeing me as the enemy, painting and washing and loading and unloading, leading songs with absolutely NO musical talent, teaching weekly Bible studies to fellow college students, weekends of Disciple Now, and Ski Trips to Gatlinburg, girls' nights and story times.  All of their stories would change me as much if not more than any story I shared with them. I took part in His daily activity of touching their hearts and mine once again in the rhythm of His heartbeat for us.

The strongest memory of an "office visit"  includes being somewhat of a Taxi driver in a small town, teens piling into my family room every Tuesday night and more hanging out on Wednesdays.  "Home" growing up before my very eyes thousands of miles from where I originated. Experiencing the act of loving, not receiving love, and the number of people I loved in a stronger, more tangible way than I ever imagined possible.  Their stories would change me as much if not more than any story I shared with them. I took part in His daily activity of touching their hearts and mine once again in the rhythm of His heartbeat for us.

The longest office trip began on the day that He joined me to journey along with the person I respect most on this Earth.  My Father has allowed me to know and understand this person better than any other person knows him. Only God knows this person better than I and only God knows me better than this person does.  Our Father has taken the last 13 and half years to build us into a team that regularly amazes me.  He has added three more to our team in the last nine years whom we are steadily getting to know as well.  The stories of these 4 (both the ones they live and the ones they tell) change me as much if not more than any story I share with them. I can take part in His daily activity of touching their hearts and mine once again in the rhythm of His heartbeat for us.

The only thing I have to ask myself is, "Will I go to work with Dad today?" and if so, "Where will His office be, at the store, at school, in another part of the country, in another country?" The excitement and anticipation; thrilling!

"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." -Colossians 4:5-6 (These were the verses we prayed weeks in advance over that visit to Clearwater. Had deep impact on my heart and life.) Am I still praying it; even more am I living it?




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