Early in my healthcare career I found it most difficult to be separated from my family for great lengths of time. To ease the burden of being away from my small children for weeks and sometimes months at a time, I’d go shopping. I found looking for small gifts for my three children and wife, made me feel like I was keeping them ever in the forefront of my mind.
A little tourist store called Dog Patch near the town I worked, was a frequent stop for me. I could buy little Knickknack toys or t shirts relatively cheap. One such day, I found the perfect t-shirt for my little three-year-old daughter. Red, it had emblazoned across the front in big white letters the words, “I Love My Daddy”, then in smaller letters under that sentence read the words, “This advertisement paid for by him.” It became one of my daughter’s favorite shirts until she outgrew it. Once hanging nearly to the floor, it seemed after only a few short years, her little legs had grown like gazelles and it now fit perfectly. That shirt did two things for me, it identified who that little girl belonged, and it gave evidence everyday that my “little” girl was no longer so little.
Several years ago while on vacation to Florida, I had forgotten a most important item. I had forgotten the power cord to a medical device I needed. Calling several medical equipment businesses, I found one place in Tampa that had the exact cord I needed. The individual on the phone told me that it would cost $40 plus tax to secure it. Grumbling, I had no choice, I told the lady I would be coming for it within the hour.
Since I was on vacation, I had my ever present New England Patriots ball cap on when I entered the establishment.
The receptionist pointed me to a large and loud salesman and as he approached, his distinct Bostonian accent was clear. Before I could say a word, He said, “Are you a New England-dah too?” I replied with the most authentic accent I could muster, “Yessuh, I am.” I was bawn up nawth of Bosty in Andovah! With a big grin, he said, “You wore the right hat today, I’ll sell you the cord much cheapah because of it!” We parted with a smile as he was glad to help a hometown person, and I was most happy to save some coin.
I’ve grown up hearing the adage, “It’s who you know.” But I gathered something a little deeper. As believers in Christ, it’s not enough that we wear some article of clothing professing our association; what is most important is, is His identifiable mark on us somewhere? Do we profess Him with our actions and deeds? When we open our mouth, like the Bostonian salesman, can people readily identify where our true home lies?
It would be so easy if we had a shirt like my daughter that showed progress on how much we’ve grown over the past year; not physically but spiritually. No I’m not going to get rid of my ball cap that reads, “Prayer, Just do it! It’s still one of my favorite hats. I’m hoping that maybe today and everyday, whomever I come in contact with, they will look at me like they once did my little daughter and see that I’m growing, and know that God does loves me and I Him. Oh, and if I did wear such a Christian shirt proclaiming His love, it would have to state, “His advertisement “the cross” was paid for by Him.