"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."
2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bold Enough to Change a Life

My daughter attends the public high school in our neighborhood, but has a circle of friends at the local Christian school. Recently a couple of those friends shared an unfortunate situation with her.

Sadie Hawkins was scheduled for the coming weekend. If you’re unfamiliar with this high school tradition, Sadie Hawkins provides the one opportunity when the girl chooses her date. She even buys matching shirts for them to wear. Because the Christian school does not sponsor dances, the event involved an excursion to Six Flags Magic Mountain. If a young man didn’t receive an invitation, he would not be able to go.

A certain socially awkward student did not get invited. Because it was his senior year, he desperately wanted to go. Sarah’s friends noticed his crushed spirit, so they asked her if she would invite him. Without knowing a thing about him (except that he was socially awkward and didn’t get a date) Sarah agreed to ask him.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11 NIV

Since she did not attend the Christian school, she had to meet for an interview with the principal. While waiting to see him, a freshman came into the office and stared at her. She smiled and gave him a quizzical look. Finally he said, “You’re taking D. to Sadie Hawkins.” His incredulous tone made it sound more like a question.

Sarah shrugged and said, “Yeah.”

A couple minutes later he returned with another student. “You’re the one taking D. to Sadie Hawkins?” He sounded even more doubtful than the first young man.

If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you. Matthew 5:46-48 The Message

My beautiful daughter sat a little taller and assured him she had indeed extended an invitation to their schoolmate. As soon as the boys were out of earshot she gave me a call. The joy in her voice on behalf of her date was obvious. “Mom,” she said after relaying the story, “this is a small school. By the end of the day the news will be all over campus!” 

My sweet daughter only considered the fact everyone would know D. had a date. Her proud Momma knew the story would undoubtedly reference Sarah’s beauty and confidence.

Sarah coaxed her date well beyond his comfort zone as they rode the scariest rides together. The two of them had a blast. They will probably never see each other again, but they shared an unforgettable day.

When I told that story to some girlfriends over lunch, one of them said, “She changed that boy’s life.”

Wow. That thought never occurred to me. My daughter unknowingly changed a boy’s life. And all it took was an interview with a principal and a 15-hour road trip to an amusement park. (And wearing a T-shirt her date picked out emblazoned with a picture of Sylvester Stallone as Rocky.)

Sarah’s boldness convicted me. I considered the very real possibility that God may have also provided me with opportunities to change a life, but I backed away unaware, or uncertain or flat out unwilling.

Does someone in my sphere of influence need to feel valued? What can I do about it? What am I waiting for?

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. John 13:34-35 NLT 

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