“Let’s do that again!”
Last Sunday was our family’s first ever Chicago Marathon. To be frank, we had no idea what to expect. From the way everyone talked about it, we knew it was a big deal and would complicate everything. But we weren’t expecting what happened.
All six of us showed up at 7am, loaded up with coffee and donuts, and hit the sidewalks with bells, clappers, and pom poms. The music was inspiring, the crowds were alive, and when the runners starting coming, it was heart-stirring. Several times I found tears welling in my eyes as I saw peoples’ faces lighting up with encouragement from total strangers. I discovered that if I looked people in the eye and shouted “You’ve got this!”, it’s amazing how their heads lifted, their pace quickened, and their eyes filled with light. In that moment, at mile 4.5, they knew someone loved and believed in them.
I wonder how many of those thirty-five thousand people who ran past our building on Sunday have had a positive experience with church and Jesus. I suspect many might be carrying some kind of baggage when it comes to their experience with Christianity. On Sunday, we got an opportunity to, however briefly, write a better story with our smiles, cheering, love, and hospitality. We got to show people far from God that Jesus loves them and we do too. What an opportunity! One guy told me he looks forward to the Moody Church cheering section every year: “It’s the best stop on the route!” I think he’s sensing the joy of the Lord, even though he can’t yet put that into words.
So good job, Moody Church! We’re writing a better story in Chicago for Jesus’ sake. We’re sharing the love of Christ with bells, clappers, and pom poms. Thank you for getting up early, braving the parking situation, navigating the streets, and shining like stars for Jesus! I share my kids’ enthusiasm: “Let’s do that again!”
You are loved, more than you know!