I recently got my hair cut. I’ve been dealing with a stubborn cowlick for a number of years. No matter what I do, that cowlick sticks up. I was sharing with the beautician that it was frustrating and she suggested I begin to part my hair on the other side my head. She did so, and no more cowlick! It’s going to take me awhile to remember to do this regularly, but the hair just naturally seems to fall that way.
What stubborn cowlicks do you have in your life? What habits or perceptions do you need to change? Perhaps looking at something from a different point of view may help! I was able to take an evening and go to Nehemiah Mission of Cleveland on a Wednesday evening when they were doing a “pop-up” worship experience. I had supper with the mission teams and then rode with Pastor Jim (the Director of Nehemiah) to the home where we were to worship. The home was one of the work sites that week and there was still some work to be done. When we got to the home and the homeowner greeted us, there was such joy on her face! She explained that she recently lost her husband and that she couldn’t keep up with the maintenance needs of the home and yard. The work team came and cleaned up her yard, scraped and painted her home and even helped with some indoor repairs. She called them “her guardian angels.” When the teams arrived to worship in her front yard, she literally beamed from overflowing love! Then we worshipped with her and some of her relatives. They were really praising God! It was a busy street, but people who passed by noticed our impromptu worship. The neighborhood noticed! The Nehemiah Mission changed the world for this woman, her neighbors, and her community! She was so thankful. She literally overflowed with God’s love. I changed my perception of what a team of volunteers can do in a week of loving labor. I had thought, “We help others and that’s great, but what lasting impact do we really have?” I saw that “impact” first hand as we worshipped together. The homeowner said, “I give God thanks!” She put the emphasis on what God was doing! That humbled me and changed the way I think about working for the Lord.
What about you? What will humble you – or tame your cowlicks? What sticks out in your life that perhaps needs a radical transformation and an infusion of love? What is your “new perspective?” Prayer is one thing that helps us change direction. One thing I’ve recently started to do is to “pray the church directory.” Every day, I take two or three names in our directory and pray for those specific people. Some I know very well, but others live out of state or are inactive and I really do not know them. But God knows them and their needs. God levels the playing field and I am humbled by the responses I get from the folks I have prayed for. Often, they do not know that I am praying for them, but they tell me they “felt something different” throughout the day. That’s God’s love in action.
Sometimes, we need to do something different in order to solve a problem or hear God’s voice more clearly. Think about my cowlick and how I simply needed to part my hair on the opposite side. God will give you the solution – if you go to God in prayer, with a humble and receptive heart. And if you are looking for an amazing mission experience, go to Nehemiah’s website and check them out: http://www.nehemiahmission.org
Rev. Bev Hall, pastor of Pleasant Hills United Methodist Church, Middleburg Heights, OH