There is, in my town, a tiny church on a lightly traveled side street. In it’s best days, back in the 1950’s, 60’s and even 70’s, it packed several hundred people into it’s pews. Now, just a couple of handfuls meet there, mostly octogenarians – or older. A beat-up and weathered sign sits in front of the church, telling the few passers-by of service times.
Recently, the pastor of the church reported that she had showed up to work one morning to find that someone had painted the church sign. Not ‘painted it’ as in ‘defaced it’, but ‘painted it’ as in ‘it now looks like new’.
Given the age of the congregation, it being one of the congregants seemed unlikely, and asking her congregants and around the church neighborhood has yielded no information. “The sign is made of an unusual metal, and not easy to paint,” she told me. “Whoever it was knew what they were doing.”
The church, although small in number, has become well-known in the community for its generosity, including a tradition called “Christmas Jars” where congregants collect spare change all year and then donate them to a needy family in the area. At any given time, they are usually running some other type of mission for the poor or sick in their area.
“We want to always remember the abused, the unloved, and the unwanted,” their pastor said. “It’s no shame when you can’t do much, but it’s all the shame in the world if you don’t do what little you can.”
Apparently, someone has applied that same philosophy to sign-painting.
This is a prompted post.