I made two trips to Stuffmart today (deeply influenced by Veggie Tales!).  The first trip was planned, the second was because I forgot to get something on the first trip.  Usually I approach any trip to Walmart with the determination of a NASCAR driver – pole position and get out quick!

Today God had another plan for me.  For some reason the “tax-exempt” card I usually use at Walmart was no longer valid.  So I needed to wait while a CSM was located, then wait for her to look things up on the computer, then wait as she found a new form for me to fill out and then wait as that form was processed and a new “tax-exempt” card was printed.  I don’t really like to wait.

Getting bored I leaned myself against the counter and looked back out into the store.  After a moment of fidgetiness, I spotted him.  It, really.  It was a red shirt.  I have 3 or 4 of them.  I wondered.  Is it?  Staring at the shirt I pay no attention to the man wearing it, I am just waiting for the shirt to turn around – because I already know.  Yes!  It is, a JLK shirt just like the one I wore yesterday!

I didn’t recognize the man wearing it, and he was too far away for me run him down.  So, I made a scene.  I shouted with my inside shoutloudbutnotsoloudastogetkickedout voice, “JLK!”  He waved, I waved back.  It made the CSM chuckle and my wait more tolerable.

Over lunch I made trip number two.  This time as I passed the display of day old donuts I glanced left and there walking away from me was a woman in a red shirt.  The same red.  But, I was in a hurry and didn’t think I should chase her down anyway.  I got what I needed and headed to the not-so-express-lane.  I got into line 4 people deep.  I looked to the right and saw the red shirt again, this time she was walking so I could clearly see the print.  I shouted “JLK” again.  We waved.  As I turned back to the line the CSM opened a new register and as I approached her she asked with a smirk, “What’s JLK?”

More than the opportunity to share Jesus’ love with the CSM, God reminded me of something my friend Pastor James of Trenches challenged several of us to take on – that there is ONE church in Kalamazoo, and it isn’t mine.  It belongs to Jesus and it is the Church of Kalamazoo – period.

You see, in Walmart today I saw two people who are part of the same family I am.  They have either hit the streets with water bottles, served burgers from behind a table or drew pictures with some children.  Maybe they even worship within yards of me on July 8, 2012!  Today there were two other people in the store who are revolutionaries for Jesus, who are part of a missional movement of God that is rooted in His Body practicing oneness.

I am praying for the week of July 7.  For OneWorship on Sunday afternoon, for Impact Kalamazoo during the day and the Jesus Loves Kzoo Grill Nights in the evening.  I am praying for the Church of Kalamazoo and for God’s Spirit to fall on our community.  I am also looking for more red shirts to spot, and if I spot you, you will hear me shout…

Btw, my favorite JLK shirt is my old faded green one – in case you were wondering.

~ Brian Stone, Pastor at Haven Church and part of the Jesus Loves Kzoo Vision Team

 

1Z