For years it would be an indentation in the flowerbed and a pile of rocks near the dug-up plot of ground that now looked like fine, sifted soil. No one would ever notice anything being done along that side of the building - why was someone working there? The rock-filled bed was good-for-nothing. But then, a week later or a month later, there would be another indentation somewhere just yards away from the one I previously noticed. And more fine, sifted soil. Hmmm.
For years I would smell paint remover. I'd walk the halls and could not pinpoint any disturbance to the building. But then, there would be other days of that same smell. It took awhile but I started to notice that the many remnants of tape that were left on chalk boards and windows and door jams were slowly disappearing. Oh they would all return during a school year or VBS - but for short periods of time - the ugly remnants were gone. Hmmm.
For years I would walk into a classroom and there would be masking tape around all the windows and door jams and moldings. Later it would become miles and miles of blue painters tape keeping safe everything that should not be painted the same old beige that seemed to reign throughout the building. One week it would be room #2 - weeks later, like a spreading rash, it would be room #3 - then room #4. Was it going to consume the whole place? Yes, eventually it would. Marked-up walls showing the high activity of the people in the building would vanish - for a while. Hmmm.
For years bushes no one seemed to think about - were trimmed and low hanging or fallen limbs taken away. A playground overgrown with weeds - was now green and seemed to be won over by - you guessed it - grass. Amazing. Even, at times, the old Memorial Garden overgrown by bushes and weeds would make an miraculous come back and appear as though someone cared. Hmmm.
Between now and then, the world moves along. Now it could move along in the direction of chaos and disrepair. It also could move along as though no one gave a damn about how the things in our lives are maintained and preserved. It could move along as though all folks care about is their own stuff and how they can have more stuff. Yes, it could move along like that - but there was this work - this devotion - this persistence - this love - this perfectionism - that lingered around the building making it seem new again. Hmmm.
I suppose that is how it could have been with Jesus. He could have simply walked through the day or the town or the countryside and kept walking - going where he wanted to go and doing what he wanted to do. But instead, someone was in need - the village or the banquet would be a better place if the leper was cleansed or the woman was made whole. After time, people came to expect that Jesus would do stuff. And yet, it all really simply started with Jesus digging in - doing something. Yes - doing something. No sermon. No preachy stuff. No revival meeting. Jesus acted as though he was one of God's stewards for life and he entered the day willing to take care of that which was not his - but that which was God's - all things. Hmmm.
Right here in the middle of the days of our lives - we are invited to be stewards of God's stuff - all of it. Within the daily routine of our lives we have the opportunity to take care of that which is not ours - but the which makes the world a better place to be. Stewards of God's Reign don't do those things just for a salary - they simply go about the ordinary stuff of the day with a vision of how it can be better. No matter where we work or live, there are things that need to be done - lives that need to be touched - laughter that needs to be heard - dirt that needs to be moved - anthems that need to be sung - hospitality that needs to be shared - time spent for the welfare of others - family and friends to be loved with a dependable presence.
There is so much I could write here to try to life up for you the fullness of a tapestry of a real, everyday saint. Most of which would demand that I could be witty and bright beyond my abilities. It would also mean I would have to be as in command of details and facts and bits of minutia - so as to come close to painting a picture of the wonder-filled mind of a saint whose presence was marked by soups in Lent, laundry day restrictions to his activities, and financial statements put together in his basement office. I wish I had the mind of the writer of the comic strip Frank and Ernest - for maybe then - I would be able to turn a phrase or a word that would make everyone think of Dave Reinoehl. Hmmm.