There’s something wonderfully encouraging about celebrating what people have done. Recognizing how they’ve impacted lives around them.
Especially if one of those lives is mine.
We’ve been in Washington, D.C. this past weekend honoring a couple we’ve known and worked with for many years. They’ve been significant in ministry, developing contextually needful ways of sharing the good news of Jesus.
We do have our differences. We’re from the Midwest and they’re not. But what binds our hearts together, allows us to walk lockstep with each other, is our families and our faith.
At a time when large families aren’t so much the norm (unless you’re huge fans of the Dugger’s on TV who have more than three times the number of children we do) this was a significant connecting point. A place where we could compare notes and perspectives.
And Christmas pictures. (Ours never quite seemed as put-together as theirs did. They’re kids were just more cooperative than ours.)
So having the opportunity to celebrate Charles and Rebecca Gilmer was not only a chance to honor the work they’ve done through their commitment to the cause of Christ. It was a chance to celebrate friends who’ve lived their passion with excellence.
And a lot of humor.
This was not about a journey finished. They’re very much alive and excited about next steps. It was a chance to reflect on the work they’ve done and encourage them in their next phase of the journey.
Charles has chosen to go back to school at age 55, to begin a new path in seminary, so that he and Rebecca may influence a whole new segment of society with the wisdom of what they’ve learned over the years. Through family and ministry.
You’ve got to be impressed with the courage and commitment that kind of decision calls for.
At a time when many folks are gearing up to finish as best they can in what they’ve been doing, Charles and Rebecca are switching it up. Changing gears. Accepting new challenges that many might see as pie-in-the-sky crazy.
They see it as purposeful and necessary. A call on their lives. From the One who created them to be who they are.
They’re acting on what they’re hearing from God.
“But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and day-difference He made for you–from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” I Peter 2:9-10
We came together to honor where they’ve been, what they’ve done and where they’re going.
When you can do that for people you respect and love, it’s a reminder of the really great things God does in and through the lives of others.
Celebrate? Oh, yes. That’s a song that gets my feet–and my heart–moving.