A Sign From God

Call me crazy, but I've always assumed that car washes are for dirty vehicles. Muddy vehicles. Filthy vehicles. However, one such establishment in my neighborhood apparently has some pretty high standards. Perhaps they don't want excessive dirt left over for the next person. Maybe they're reluctant for expensive equipment to get splashed with dirty water.

Either way, this absurd sign left me scratching my head. (In case you can't see it, the sign reads: "The washing of muddy vehicles is strictly prohibited! Violators will be charged to the fullest extent of the law!") Wow. So, I go to a car wash and wind up in the pokey. Where's the justice in that? I mean, if I can't take my muddy vehicle to a car wash, well, where, exactly, can I take it?

I can't help but wonder how many people have approached this particular place because of an inviting sign out front, then read the crazy yellow sign in the back, and consequently moved on to a less hostile more welcoming business.

I wonder, does this count as false advertising? Because the sign out front certainly lures unsuspecting muddy car drivers, who no doubt arrive primed for a wash and are, sadly, turned away.

All this got me to thinking. As Christians, we are walking, living, breathing signs for God. And Who we represent should cause others to be attracted to us. We just need to make sure we're delivering what our signs/lives promise.

Jesus strolled into town one morning, hungry. He approached what appeared to be a thriving fig tree and thought, "Ahhh. Breakfast!" Yet when he searched the tree, it was void of the fruit he desired. He pronounced a curse on the fig tree essentially because of false advertising. (See Matthew 21: 18-19)

Now, I'm not calling down a curse on a car wash. I'm just trying to point out that when people discover we're Christians, they have expectations of our character and conduct. They have a curiosity and perhaps even a hope that we have something real. Something they just might desire to sample.

They deserve to find precisely what they're looking for. Like: peace, joy, truth, love, and life, and the One who can give it to them - Jesus. If they can't find the truth in us, then where, exactly, will they go?

"Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68

God, make us signs that point to you. Give us warm, inviting hearts that authentically advertise Your truth in a lost and dying world.

13 comments:

Chappyswife said...

Perfect timing, Julie, as I feel I failed this week in a certain situation. I am trying to let it go and move on, praying I didn't do any permanent damage on a lost and dying soul.

Lesson learned.

B His Girl said...

We should be a walking sign of His Presence. Jesus made it very clear how He felt about the fruit tree having no crop. I don't want to be a bare tree. Great post Julie. B

Terri Tiffany said...

My husband and I were talking on the way home from church yesterday that we want to get through this recesion with a good testimony. SOmedays we wonder if we have. We know people watch and judge and so we are praying this week to do much better. Great post!

Melinda said...

Love it, Julie! Always a good reminder, especially as we are involved in ministry. God holds us to an even higher standard. I appreciate your humor and heart for Jesus always!

Melinda

Wendy said...

I like the comparison of the tree w/ the car wash. What a curious sign to have out front???
~ Wendy

Shirley said...

Wonderful Post! We have a sign on us all the time and it is our decision what it says!Have a Blessed Day!

KelliGirl said...

A big "Amen!" to this Julie. Your analogy is perfect...and almost unbelievable that a car wash would deem some vehicles TOO dirty.

I recently heard a pastor relate a story of a man who came to him, seeking to join the church. The man was involved in sinful behavior that the pastor asked him about. The man admitted to the behavior, but didn't think it was a problem. In the end, the pastor basically told the man he wasn't welcome at his church.

My theology may be all wrong, but who is anyone to keep sinners out of the church? Where else can they (we) find the grace that reveals our sin and offers a way to make us spotless?

I pray I am a good testimony to Jesus' amazing grace.

Very thought-provoking, Julie! Well written.

Rachel B said...

You seem to do it each week...

You write something that causes me to desire growth.

You're right, people are seeking something real and applicable to their life. It's so easy to talk the talk, but can we walk the walk.

Thanks for sharing this today. And causing me to think and pray about the fruit I am producing.

Thank you also for the very encouraging message you left on my blog last week. I really, really appreciate your prayers concerning my back/neck. I put you on my prayer list as well. Your blog and e-mails are such a blessing to me! You are definately a "sign" that points to the Lord. :)

May God continue to bless you for your faithfulness and the genuine love you show others.

Jill said...

Hi Julie, thanks for the wonderful post and the reminder that I am sending a message for Christ. I enjoy reading the connections you make with everyday things and our spiritual life. Another good reminder there - our spiritual life is a part of every daily thing!! Thanks again and pray God continues to send his message through you.
Blessings,
Jill

Spring Fricks said...

Wow, no muddy trucks at the car wash. That doesn't make a lick of sense (said with my very Georgia accent!) LOl.

I agree. Totally.

Chatty Kelly said...

I loved this post. I read it earlier but never commented.

It made me laugh too, because if you've ever seen a 4 wheel drive truck that's been mudding, you'd know what that sign is there. Definitely a southern thing.

But so happy that God accepts us no matter how muddy we are, and is always ready to rinse us white as snow.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Preach it friend! True to the Word, through and through.

peace~elaine

Gwen said...

Julie,

This is all too true, and beautifully written.

People who have been deeply hurt by Christians are quick to see the mud on ALL Christians, it seems. It's as if others' actions cling to us, too. I find myself disheartened by this truth. It seems unfair to be judged as a group rather than individuals within the same faith.

If walking with Jesus has taught me anything though, it's that God is fair and life is not. It's not my place to begrude the mud that clings to me, fair or not. I can only purify what is in my control--my own heart, mind and actions--to hopefully give others a different impression of Jesus. To give them a glimpse at the shine beneath the mud of life.

Thanks for your great post, Julie.

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