I have had a front row seat to the amazing transformation that has taken place with our lobby floors. What I thought should take only a matter of hours or maybe a couple of days has taken months. I mean – the floor is concrete; we want polished concrete floors – so polish em up and let’s get on with it! That’s what I see from my view of the surface.
What I didn’t see was the beautiful stone underneath a layer of concrete. I did not see the time, energy and effort it would take to get to what lay beneath the ugly surface. It has been a lengthy and sometimes unpleasant and inconvenient process.
Isn’t that how we expect people in our church to grow? We look at the surface and we think people should get polished up pretty quickly. I mean, they are in our church where all things are pretty awesome. Right?
I have found that the lost and broken come walking in our doors in one of two ways. They either look pretty polished, or, they look rough, unlovely and unlovable. What lies beneath both is concrete that needs some heavy equipment to grind it down to get to the amazing person that lies under that rough exterior.
Everyone is in process. Jesus did come to transform us, but the twinkling of an eye transforming thing is his process…not ours. It takes time, is gets uncomfortable and it usually requires some inconvenience to truly disciple people to living a successful Christian life. The polished and unpolished alike.
For example, we have a UPS deliveryman who never smiles, is always in a hurry, and is usually a little rude. It is my mission to stop and talk to him, smile and to make him smile, leaving feeling better than when he came in. I think he was agitated with me at first. But, now I get a smile, a response and who knows, maybe I will see him at church some day… its a process.
I encourage you to reach out to all people, the lovely and unlovely. Be willing to be inconvenienced and uncomfortable. Step out and embrace others like Jesus would. There is a reason why they are rough. You could be the reason they surrender to the process and let Jesus transform their life. See what lies beneath the concrete. Remember it’s a process.