Answering To Inge
by Jeff Ferris 10/19/2013 / Christian Living
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might
(Ecclesiastes 9:10 NKJV)
With good will doing service, as to the Lord (Ephesians 6:7 KJV)
"If God tells you to do something, do it."
That is a quote from our assistant pastor, Bob, in his sermon on Sunday morning, September 8, 2013. I heard the words, but had no idea at the moment of how they might apply to me on a personal level. It would not be until later in the day that I came to understand. And it happened in the least likely of ways.
On that afternoon, my wife, Ginny, and I went for a walk. We do that often sometimes along the downtown waterfront or at the park where we got married, but often throughout our own neighborhood just walking, talking, holding hands, and spending time together.
As we strolled a random route near our home, we passed Inge's house. Inge is a German widow who lives one street over and one block up from us. We know her from a church that we all attended many years ago. By this time, she had lived in our neighborhood for 3 years, and since she had moved there we saw her on only about that many occasions.
On this particular afternoon, we noticed Inge on her front porch. At 76 years young, she was hovering over a 2 by 3, which I'd estimate to be about 3 feet long. She was shaving the width of the board with a hand planer to size it for the repair job that she was doing.
She looked up. We waved, and Inge smiled. "You are exactly the person I need to see," she said.
I nodded. Of course I was. She obviously needed my help, right? After all, I am a highly experienced and certified tradesman of the journeyman variety. Whether working with a wooden 2 by 3, exotic metals, or a stamping die, it doesn't matter. These all require the use of tools, and I am fairly proficient with them.
I wondered: What does she need me to do?
Surveying the contents on her porch, I noticed only a claw hammer and a wood chisel.
What additional tools will I need for the job? What will I be fixing?
Yep, it was good that we had chosen to walk in that direction. I felt confident in my abilities, and I was happy to be available to help. Had I been wearing long sleeves, I was ready to roll them up and save the day.
Step aside, lady. Let me at it!
Boy, was I a dope! As it turned out, Inge did not need any assistance with her tools or her repair project; she simply wanted to tell me something, and it practically echoed what Pastor Bob had said earlier that morning.
First, Inge stated that she is a faithful reader of Pathway Christian Newspaper. She also explained that when the new issues are distributed, she immediately looks for my articles. She actually reads them. What's more, she saves them!
"Why haven't you been writing lately?" she asked.
My short reply was that I was scaling back to allow other writers and newer contributors to have more print space.
While this was certainly true, there was also a second part to my answer, but I did not get a chance to tell it how that, over the past 7 years, I had been writing extensively for multiple publications and various individuals.
It was an amazing door that God had wondrously opened for me, but my eyes were tired. My brain was word-weary. And while most people claim to dream in vivid color, I was dreaming in solid black text: 10-point font, Times New Roman. Simply put, I welcomed a writing reprieve.
Before I could convey all of that to Inge, she boldly stated, "If God has called you to write, you need to be writing."
Okay, I finally got the message.
My question (or series of questions) to you is this: Is there something you should be doing but are not? What is it that God has called you to do? What doors have been opened for you? What has been placed within your hand?
If God tells you to do something, do it. Sometimes, He will send along a person like Pastor Bob to give you a reminder. If that doesn't work, you might have Inge to answer to.
(This article was published in Pathway Christian Newspaper October 2013)