With a Mop & Bucket in Hand
This morning, we hosted the funeral service for Doris Reynolds. It was a lovely morning. Talk about a woman who was well loved, deeply revered for her faith, and was known for her generous love in every way. The words ‘legacy’, ‘example’, and ‘witness’ were used quite a bit this morning!
After the wonderful eulogy given by her daughter Julie, there was an open time to say something or share a story about Doris. One story stood out to me that I just had to share with you.
Linda Lentini stood up and shared a story about how, early in her marriage, her and her husband owned a barbershop down in Highlands. Because of its proximity to the ocean, it used to flood a lot. It’d be a lot of work to clean it out. One flood was particularly bad, the shop was fairly wrecked, and they couldn’t have been more discouraged.
And then who shows up? Doris Reynolds, and her husband Paul, with a mop in one hand and a bucket in the other. Ready to help.
Linda didn’t even know how Doris knew they were in that spot, but nevertheless, she showed up to lend a hand.
Linda shared how it was a time in her life where they were looking, but hadn’t yet found a home church. As soon as Doris showed up with her mop and bucket, the search ended. “That’s where I’m going,” Linda said. And she’s been at Central ever since.
Linda said that sometimes churches get so caught up looking to grow through programs and radio advertisements and billboards and all those flashy things, but
nothing grows a church like someone showing up with a mop and a bucket.
And here’s the thing: she’s not wrong.
I hope that together, and under the power of God’s Spirit, we can grow Central Baptist. I do. Because I believe the news that we have to share about the God of the universe is simply too good for just us. And as we heard on Sunday, we’ll look to make some changes to make Central a better landing spot for young families that might be looking for a church. We’ll try some new things, make some changes, work out some new programs, and maybe even put out an advertisement. And maybe some of that will work to draw people in.
But there is nothing that works better that Jesus followers – like you – showing up with a mop and a bucket.
There’s nothing that can replace regular Jesus followers, like Doris and Paul, selflessly giving of their time, energy, and heart to help someone who’s going through a rough time. In fact, that’s exactly the kind of thing Jesus did (it’s why it’s called “following” Jesus!).
This is the witness, the legacy, left behind by Doris. How can you follow Jesus like her?
Whose mess can you show up at, mop and bucket in hand, ready to serve, ready to love?
Pastor, Central Baptist Church