“Do you have any more of those back packs?” This simple question caused me to stop in my tracks. It evoked a mini crisis of conscience. I wanted the last back pack, my old blue one, which had been my office these past two years, was showing wear. This new one had our Street Hope logo on it which would surely help identify the ministry and me as a minister. I tried to dodge. “Not really but I still have the hat, gloves etc. that go in one.” To my dismay my friend was looking for a back pack!
I had got to know him over the past few months as he faithfully attended our Recovery Workshops. He has been doing really well and we are so proud of him. He has just started back to school to get his High School diploma. He wanted a back pack to carry his precious text books. I said “Just a second.” And I emptied my new back pack/office and handed it to him. I knew God wanted to encourage him in his sobriety and his efforts to become a contributing citizen. My friend was so pleased!
I was left juggling the former contents of this back pack as well as a jumble of emotions. I was pleased to see his joy and I was embarrassed by my initial reluctance/unwillingness to part with the last back pack. My old blue one is perfectly serviceable and when it wears out I have the wherewithal to buy a new one.
I don’t need a logo to announce I am Christ’s, if my life doesn’t show it a logo won’t help. I imagine my friend walking the halls with his ‘Street Hope Back Pack’ and people asking him about it. I pray that despite my initial selfish reaction, he will be able to identify it as coming from God. His testimony maybe one thousand times more powerful than mine.
I am grateful that the last back pack has communicated that the last is first, at least in terms of the powerful effect it has had on me.
I remember hearing the story of a woman who left instructions that when she died, she be buried with a fork in her hand. She had been well known in her family for saying “Keep your forks! The best is yet to come!” The last sight of her holding that fork communicated her sure and certain hope.
We believe the best is yet to come! We believe that 2015 will be a ‘Year of Break Through”.