Yeah I’m not sure it’s a real word either: gospeled. But I think it should be a verb. When Jesus came, he came proclaiming gospel, good news about the kingdom. I think when you tell people about the good news, you gospel them. But I also think that over time, we’ve limited the good news to a small part of the larger whole. Jesus came to preach the good news of the kingdom coming. In the coming kingdom, there is full restoration of creation. It’s not limited to your sin is washed away. There is a new creation, old gone, new comes. We can talk more about that in person if you want.
This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. After all that Kristen has been through in this last year, you’d think I would have made this the most memorable Mother’s Day ever. I’m really bad at that kind of thing though. Basically Kristen got to just get whatever she wanted…within reason. Fortunately she’s wonderfully practical and doesn’t mind the opportunity to acquire what she wants rather than having to take back a gift that I “knew she would love.”
This really has nothing to do with the story.
The night before, I got a message from a friend that said, “I don’t know anything about holding babies, but I could wash your cars tomorrow if that’s something that would help you out.” At first I didn’t know what to do with this. It was late Saturday night and I was sleep deprived. The more I thought about it, however, the more I thought about how consistent this was with everything we have been speaking towards for the last year with our gathering at the Irish Bred Pub.
We have used phrases from the ancients like, “Blessed to be a blessing,” and explored God’s intention with that phrase, that Abraham wasn’t supposed to hold on to the love God was lavishing on him, but he was to be a conduit to allow that to be poured out on all the people he encountered.
Over and agin we have talked about tangibly blessing our neighbors and our community, because Jesus didn’t just talk about loving people well, he actually did things to demonstrate that he loved them. How could I turn down a car wash if my friend was willing to love us in this way. Kristen loves the car to be clean, and that is clearly not high on the priority list right now.
So, he came over to wash our cars. Not one, not just Kristen’s…but the mess that is my vehicle. If you’ve been in it, you know the challenge he accepted. At first I tried to stay outside with him and help where I could, but honestly, babies were up and it wasn’t practical. And he said, “Go be with your wife.” I wanted to earn his help though. Problem is, it doesn’t work that way.
My friend gospeled us. He spent three hours between both cars. He went over every part of our cars meticulously. There was not a crack that wasn’t clean that was accessible to be cleaned. I was blown away. I’ve seen “professional details” that did not look this great. I took my shoes off the first time I got in it was so clean.
He had a gift and he found a practical way to bless us, to love us well. It was such a clear picture of someone saying, “In the kingdom, people just do good things. I’m going to do it ‘as unto the Lord.’ When I live in light of the good news of the kingdom, I’m going to love you well and find ways to tangibly bless you. Here’s what I’ve got.”
I was blown away. It’s been nearly a week and I’m still telling people, “That’s it. That’s kingdom living. Small, reproducible, loving acts, intentionally loving your neighbor in practical, tangible, actual ways, just because. That’s the gospel at work. It may seem small, but it’s not. It’s huge.”