June 12, 2017

Everyday Christians

The most recent issue of the Diocese of Texas’ Dialog magazine is focused on faith, culture, and the ways that we live our faith in the midst of our daily lives. This got me thinking about some of the places I’ve seen folks serving Christ in the day-to-day.

There’s Dr. Beverly Vick, an angel on earth who is a first grade teacher in Alexandria, Va. For my oldest son, and countless other children for whom school can be challenging, Dr. Vick makes learning come alive. For my son’s birthday that year, he invited Dr. Vick to dinner, and I was amazed at the stories she shared of a life dedicated to teaching. And underpinning it all is her deep faith and love of Jesus.

Or there’s a lawyer in Houston (a client of mine in my previous career), who is one of the most successful litigators in the country. Mark Lanier also teaches a weekly Bible study to nearly 750 people, and has opened the Lanier Theological Library on his property in northwest Houston. He has shared with me how his faith has shaped the way he approaches his work. “Justice is a preeminent Biblical concept,” he says.

Then there is Chris Baker, a Chicago-area tattoo artist. In the midst of his life and work, Chris prayed that he would find a way to use his talent and career to help people. Ultimately, Ink180 was born. Through his work, Chris covers up markings of former gang members, and barcodes (yes, sometimes literal barcodes that can be scanned with phones) of victims of human trafficking.

And most recently there was the service manager at my local car dealer. My truck has a recall, so I’ve spent some quality time at the dealer the past few weeks. In conversation with the service manager, she shared how she hadn’t had a day off since Easter. You see, she’s been covering for co-workers that needed time off for this reason or that.

Perhaps because I was wearing my collar, she was more open to speaking with me about her faith. She says she tries to be a listening ear for people who come in with car problems, especially since the auto shop can be an anxious place for many.

“Jesus tells us to be kind to others, and to help them,” she told me. “I can’t always fix their car, or make the repair bill cheaper. But I can listen to them. And I can smile. So that’s what I try to do.” I joked when I said that’s my job, too. To be kind and to listen. She then asked, “But you also preach and do other stuff, right?”

“Yeah, I do,” I said. “But your actions preach more powerfully than most sermons.”

How have you seen folks living out their faith in the midst of their everyday lives?