What a remarkable encounter Ben shared with us last Sunday about the maintenance man that blessed him. He was staying at a military base and attending a nearby pastor’s conference. While there he met a remarkable young man that greatly encouraged him. I was captivated by the genuine and authentic love this young man shared with my husband. Ben needed to be refreshed and he found it from an unexpected source. He never asked for Ben’s name or gave his. He asked politely if he could give him a gift and showed up at his door with pages of encouragement that he wrote. Later on he revealed a heart of servanthood as he opened doors and cleaned up garbage. Just when we need encouragement, renewal, and fresh perspectives, God reveals Himself in a delightful and unexpected way. Here are a few lessons from “The Maintenance Man.”
First of all, this man went out of his way to speak to a stranger. That takes courage! We are usually so wrapped up in our own busy schedules that we fail to see opportunities to minister to others, including strangers. We are in such a hurry and have places to be and people to see. Each day starts with our to-do lists, commitments and obligations. We race through our days often missing out on God's best for us. Each day is framed in twenty-four hours, and we are determined to not waste a minute of it. We have bought into the lie that busyness equates to success. Yes, we have responsibilities and jobs, but sometimes God calls us away momentarily to do His bidding, or in this case, to be a blessing to someone else.
The next thing I see is this man had a genuine interest in others. He asked purposeful and engaging questions. When we are self-focused and fixated on ourselves, our conversations center around us. When we come across individuals that go out of their way to not only speak to us but to ask thoughtful questions, only then do we slow down, breath slower and feel cared for.
Someone in our Life Group mentioned the word authentic in reference to this young man. The word authentic means, “not false or copied; genuine.” This increasingly dark world needs to see the authentic love of Christ lived out. The world is confused, puzzled, and speechless in the face of such selfless love that had no other motive but pure love. Believers and unbelievers alike often don't know what to do in the face of genuine, authentic love. Why is this so rare, and why are we so surprised when it happens? Maybe it's because we've come to not expect it. It's simply not the norm anymore. Nightly news is filled with such bad news, but occasionally there are heartwarming stories about acts of kindness and heroism. We are touched by these selfless acts and inspired by them. These individuals need to be recognized. The world may never know the many obscure and overlooked individuals who never make the news. If truth be told, such people really aren’t interested in recognition, they’re simply doing what God designed them to do. They are reflecting Christ and being His hands and feet to a lost and weary world.
Lastly, this young man had taken time to write out a military tribute, not only to those he encounters on base, but a tribute to mothers and fathers. Here again is the page Ben read on Sunday. It is meant to be a simple blessing, and truly reflects a heart that belongs to Christ. We don't know “the maintenance man’s” name, but God does. As you read it may it warm and encourage your heart, give you pause and fill you with hope, joy, and purpose. I share it in its rambling form in order to keep it authentic!
“As you start today with a prayer, gather your loved ones as dawn breaks. May the morning delight you, the glory of God. May you hear joy with every smile. May the afternoon give you rest and to be embraced by peace. Have no fear for hope hides in your hearts. Even as dusk falls upon you. Look forward to the horizon, this is beauty; this is faith. As the evening begins caring thoughts start to whisper, tears may fall because you feel compassion. Don't let go, but grasp for love is unconditional this is the Grace of God almighty. His presence of mercy and forgiveness, and your strength is Jesus Christ. For you are saved; be strong because memories will be better tomorrow. As happiness follows you today. Contentment from my heart to yours.
God bless, amen.”
When a believer offers kindness and blessings he reveals his true calling. It collides with a hurting and lost world that desperately needs to see the gospel reflected and lived out!