Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Telling the Story--Wesley Foundation E-Letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Hey Everyone!


Here’s what’s going on: 


Cocoa and Christmas Clips—This Thursday we will be on South Lawn from 3-5pm giving away hot chocolate.  At 5pm we will project “Rudolf” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” onto Academic Complex.  Come and be blessed!


Thursday Night Free Meal & Christmas Party-- Afterwards, we will come back to the Wesley Foundation for Chinese food, we will have a Blind Santa gift exchange, and we will celebrate the season together.  Bring a $5-7 gift.  Anything you want.  And please be there, I have a special gift I want to share with you.  It’s not much, but I am so excited about it.


Free Lunch During Finals—Next week we will be serving lunch at the Wesley Foundation Monday through Thursday from 11am till 1pm.  Come and be fed.  Bring friends!  And let me know if you are planning to show up so I can have plenty of food.


Road Trip to Opryland—Also next Friday is our road trip to Nashville. We will go to Opry Mills for dinner and shopping, then see the lights at Opryland Hotel, and finally go for desert at the Cheesecake Factory.  Let me know if you are interested!


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


I love stories.  It was my favorite thing about my Silly Papa.  My Grandfather could tell the best stories.  In fact, it is a part of my heritage on my mother’s side of the family.  And it’s not that we stretch the truth, it’s just that we remember big.  No matter who is telling the story, it is filled with laughter and timing and love.  And all of those things are the best gifts I have received from my Harrison heritage. 


The thing about Harrison stories is that there is always a lot of drama and emotion.  It is always a big thing.  And even if it isn’t a big thing, we know how to make it a big thing.  Like in the retelling of the story from this past Thanksgiving when my two young sons played “tattoo parlor” while the other cousins played outside.  Let’s just say that when mommy went shopping my youngest got painted . . . all over.  He spent the rest of the day pulling up his shirt to show everyone his belly.  Five days later he still has magic marker stains on his stomach.


Yet one of the things I have learned about life and the way God moves in it, is that often times God’s big stories are very different from ours.  God will often take His time in telling it, or letting it unfold.  And often it is hidden in the mundane and ordinary.  In fact, sometimes we miss the most Holy thing because we are too impatient wait for God’s ending to unfold or our eyes refuse to recognize the small tender movements of love.  But God’s story is very much alive in our own stories.  We just need to know how to look.


Take for instance the story of my fishing pole.  My Silly Papa loved to fish.  There is a wonderful picture of him leaning against his fishing boat hanging on my Grandma’s fridge.  But more than fishing for fish, my Grandpa loved to fish for people.  The last Thanksgiving I got to be with him his memory was quite diminished from Alzheimers.  He didn’t recognize most of our family.  And we all got tickled when he began coaching my cousin Shae about how to lead my brother Dan to the Lord.  He kept saying to her, “Now you could be the one.” And with expert fishing skills he shared with her that she had to be patient and take it slow, not to rush.  Just like fishing, leading someone to Jesus is a labor of love.


Two months before my Silly Papa died I had a dream.  In it he said to me, “I’m going to have to give you my rod and reel.”  I thought he meant he was going to give my husband his fishing tackle (I’m slow sometimes).  After I woke up, the Lord impressed upon me that he was leaving me his ministry of fishing for people.  Two months later I was at his funeral saying goodbye.  And of course there were wonderful stories.  We laughed and cried, and we remembered him big.  Time passed and the next year my family visited my Grandma.  While we were there sitting around telling stories, my aunt Mary asked me to tell the story of my dream.  As I did my uncle disappeared from the room.  When he came back in he was carrying a hand-built wooden case with a glass front that held a fishing pole inside.  My Grandmother had found one of Grandpa’s poles and was giving it to me.  Needless to say, I was overwhelmed.  And yes, I cried. 


Of course the case wasn’t quite finished.  It needed to be stained and some finishing touches.  So I gave my pole back to allow it to be finished.  You know God is like that sometimes.  He gives you a glimpse of the thing He wants to do in your life, but then you have to wait for it to be completed.  Paul says it this way:  “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).  Sometimes that day seems a long time away, but we can trust Jesus to do that good work.  He is so faithful.  It’s funny, while I was waiting for my fishing pole to be ready, Jesus has been doing a work in me so that I would be ready to use it.


We just got back from Texas last Saturday night.  During our visit there, in the quiet of an empty bedroom in the lake house my aunt and uncle brought out a large box housing a bubble wrapped wooden box with a glass front, holding a simple fishing pole.  It was a simple moment.  There wasn’t a lot of fanfare.  No drum rolls, no ooh’s and ah’s.  Most of the family missed it.  I don’t even know if those precious persons who gave me that incredible gift know the significance of what transpired.  I just know that the story of my fishing pole was complete.  Or at least the first chapter.  Because somehow I feel the timing is perfect, and God is saying it’s time to fish.


I share this story as a way of reflecting on the biggest God story we can ever know.  On a quiet night, in a cramped city, God sent forth His Son, Jesus.  Jesus was born in a stable, 400 years after the last prophet had spoken.  The world had been waiting so long for a messiah they had given up hope.  It seemed like the story would go uncompleted.  And while a choir of angels announced His arrival, it was in the middle of nowhere to a few shepherds.  Most of the people in Bethlehem slept through the most significant moment in history.  And while the circumstances were kind of weird, a baby being born to poor people in humble surroundings happens everyday.  It is quite ordinary.  Kind of like fishing poles.


I want to encourage you to listen for your own fishing pole story this Christmas season.  Christmas is all about the incarnation, that wonderful moment when the God who created everything becomes flesh, and dwells amoung us.  It is the coming of Immanuel, which literally means “God with us.”  Where is God with you, now, in the ordinary circumstances of your life?  Where are you surrounded by God’s holiness and may not even know it?  Where is God telling His story of hope and salvation through you?  Jesus came to us as a babe 2000 years ago.  Through his Holy Spirit He comes to us now every moment.  May God grant us the eyes to recognized His coming.


This is me trusting,




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Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry



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