An unusual visitor came to our door Sunday afternoon. He was from Custer Road United Methodist Church, a large congregation in our area, but he didn’t hand out church literature or invite us to attend their services. In fact, he didn’t do or say anything evangelistic at all. And yet he was one of the most effective missionaries for the gospel I’ve encountered in a long time.
This man was canvassing our area to ask us to be on the lookout for Janice Klein. She had been in the local news since leaving her backyard last Friday afternoon. She left her phone, purse, keys and vehicle behind, and hadn’t been seen since. By Sunday, up to 750 friends and church members had mobilized to search the area; they enlisted a private helicopter to help. Since she had relatives in our neighborhood, this man chose to check our streets. He showed us her picture and asked us to be sure she hadn’t gotten into our backyard or garage.
Monday morning we awoke to the news that Janice had been found at DFW Airport, severely dehydrated and disoriented but otherwise in good health. We don’t yet know what caused her to wander off or how she made her way to the airport, but at least she’s safe.
The man who came to our door demonstrated the compassion of Christ in his Sunday afternoon efforts. He went door to door in 100 degree heat in hopes that he could help a church member. Given the large size of their congregation, there’s a good chance he didn’t even know Janice Klein well, but he gave up his time to help a sister in Christ. In so doing, he showed us the reality of Christ’s love in his. And he made us want to be part of something so noble and significant.
Jesus made clear the “mark” by which his disciples would be known: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). There was no question that the man at our door Sunday afternoon was one of his. As a result, I’m more resolved today to be sure those I encounter can say the same of me.