About 2 months ago I got a text message from my Dad saying his mom (my grandma) had been rushed to a hospital in Fort Worth, TX. Grandma had quadruple bypass surgery a few years ago after suffering multiple heart attacks in a relatively small span of time. She was also receiving oxygen treatment several times a day. Long story short, Dad calls me the next day saying she’s been put on life support and it doesn’t look good. I quickly leave work and pack my bags to be with my family as they make the incredibly hard decision of if/when to remove Grandma from life support.
I don’t know if you’ve been in a similar situation, but it’s incredibly humbling. It’s so alarming that the world doesn’t absolutely stop as we feel it should. “How dare things go on like normal,” I found myself thinking…”don’t they know what’s going on?!?”
As my Dad and uncle are in the process of making this difficult decision I hear this incredible conversation from outside my Grandma’s hospital room…
A nurse is whispering with a janitor in the corner of our hospital wing just loud enough where I can hear. The nurse is a white male and the janitor is a Middle Eastern woman. I overhear the nurse telling the janitor all about this secret underground Bible study for people from different faith backgrounds (Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, etc.) to create a safe space for them to encounter the truths of Scripture separate from their own often oppressive families and to create a support system of Christian friends as they begin to go public with their faith in Jesus.
I was blown away. This is TEXAS! I could throw a rock out the window and it would hit 6 churches before it hit the ground.
The exact same thing could have just as easily happened here in Arkansas.
THE BUCKLE OF THE BIBLE BELT!
This nurse was keenly aware of something we too often forget:
For far too long, Christians have been separating out sacred from secular. Faith from culture.
- The pastor’s job is sacred while the insurance salesman’s job is secular
- Singing worship songs is sacred while getting lost in a John Mayer guitar solo or U2 anthem is secular.
- Praying and reading Scripture is sacred while doing laundry and shuttling around kids is secular.
The truth is…
- While the pastor’s job is definitely worthwhile, the insurance salesman is called to live out 1 Corinthians 10:31 at his job too, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
- While singing worship songs is commanded by God, it’s also good to recognize the creative beauty of the image of God that lies in other people’s talent, regardless of if they themselves are aware of such beauty.
- While praying and reading Scripture are obviously beneficial for our faith, Jesus got his hands dirty serving others too. Jesus wasn’t praying all the time. He served his friends and enemies in seemingly menial ways. Remember how He washed Judas’ feet right before Judas betrayed Jesus? I don’t know how many times my Mom shuttled me to baseball practice and back but somewhere along the way it became clear how much she loved me.
The nurse at my Grandma’s hospital was used by God in an incredible way because he knew God doesn’t always divide life up into black-and-white categories of “sacred” and “secular.” He knew he didn’t have to wait to go on a mission trip or serve with his Home Group to be used by God.
Maybe God’s been waiting for you to realize He can use you to make an incredible impact in this world right where you are and right as you are.
May you find and experience the sacred in some surprising places today.