My story: It was a clear and cool morning, the sun was up and I had just finished reviewing my Sunday morning message. I was excited and yet a little anxious because I was beginning a new short series titled, “Your Partnership in the Gospel,” based on Philippians 1:3-6. The focus would be, “The Gospel: The Reason we Exist.” It’s a series that would help all who gather with us for worship to know what we believe and why. It would help them understand who we are and why we are here. So I went down to unlock the trailer which was backed up to the garage so I could load the keyboard and a few other things and then head to the community center to set up for worship. As I walked around the side of the trailer my eyes were drawn to scattered trash and a turned over trash container. A trash bag had been torn open and some trash spread down an unmarked path among the trees. I had seen this type of devastation before and knew immediately what had happened. About five years ago while sitting at my desk in the office at 4:00 am (I couldn’t sleep) I heard a noise, outside in the drive. The motion light had come on and there was a bear dragging a bag of trash toward the trees. Not finding much to eat, the bear exited into the dark night. Oh yes… I knew the tragedy of an attack on a trash container and the scattered trash as tell tale evidence that a bear had visited us again. I approached the scene of the crime closely scanning the area to make sure our “visitor” had left. I slowly surveyed the ground looking for signs that the perpetrator had in fact done the dirty deed. Then I saw it, a paw print. It was about 4-5 inches across indicating that a small bear with a dumpster diving appetite had left his mark.
The evidence did not lie. As I have thought about that paw print and the evidence that proved that a bear (presently unidentified) had visited us, I thought about what evidence and what “foot print” we as believers make in our community. I am not suggesting that we leave trash spread around that annoys other people, but that we hopefully leave a positive imprint that brings joy and thanksgiving to our community. Forensic investigators will tell you that you leave evidence of your physical presence everywhere you go; a hair (for most people), skin cells, finger prints and other DNA that can be traced back to you as a totally uniquely designed and special person. As a Christian we not only have our “creative DNA” which is unique to individuals but also a “spiritual DNA” which is traced to our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Everywhere we go and everything we do should leave evidence of His presence having been where our feet have trod, where our hands have served and where His words have been shared. Consider what footprint you leave for Jesus as you go about your daily activities and interact with those you encounter. Have a great week, God bless - PJ