When we think of ministry calls, it is rarely described as "altering dresses."
However, this is one of the ways we have been off track as Jesus followers because we have made the definition of ministry call far too narrow: one who is called into full time paid professional ministry.
This is important of course, but it doesn't include all the amazing stories that God weaves together underneath the surface and the radar of others.
I was privileged to hear a kingdom story yesterday that touched me. I hope it will touch you too.
Cathy is a woman who has a daughter who is in her school choir. They all wear the same black dresses when they perform. Cathy undertook the huge project of overseeing the altering of the dresses, over 150 of them. She did this not because she loves to sew, but she knew that she could "seed" the love of Jesus into every seam she sewed.
These dresses will be handed down to others for many years, so she was praying for the current girl wearing the dress, but all the others who will come after her.
The last day before the concert, God allowed Cathy the privilege of carrying his heart.
This is what happened. A mother who had a daughter a bit on the chubby side was furious about how the dress fit her. She called Cathy and demanded that the daughter be given a smaller dress.
Cathy had her bring the girl over and she gave her the different choices. She tried them on. After checking them all out, the girl opted for the bigger dress and Cathy did her sewing magic and made it look really nice on her. The girl was glowing when her mother came to pick her up--she felt beautiful because Cathy spoke beauty into her life. She made her feel like Jesus made people feel: noticed, seen and valued.
Her Mom came into the room and instead of noticing the glow on her daughter's face, she said, "Those shoulders are way too big. You look like you are wearing a sack."
Cathy said she could hardly bear the look in the young girl's face. She began to speak into the mother too, showing the mother what she saw in her daughter. In the process, she helped restore the beauty to the young girl again, hopefully re-seeding God's heart back to her.
This is invisible kingdom ministry. The only one who knows about it is Jesus, and now us, but most often it is left in the invisible place for only our God to enjoy. This is what thrills his heart because he knows when it is invisible ministry, it comes out of a place of humility, dependance and submission to him.
I love these stories in Missio Lux because instead of counting people and budgets to judge our "success" we submit ourselves to Jesus every morning and wait for him to show us how to live out kingdom as his disciples. I can hardly wait for the day in heaven when we get to hear all the stories that never got told of how we partnered with Jesus to help release the kingdom of God into the world.