Lent hasn’t started. But today is the last day to order my Lenten guide for 2015, Transformed: How stories of the Cross Are Changing the World. Why do we need such good news today?
Because changed people change people. Meet Mark Meadows, owner of the Chick-fil-A on Highway 280 in Inverness, Alabama. On January 7, an unkempt young man wearing jeans and a hoodie came into the restaurant. Though it was bitterly cold outside, he had no gloves. Mark noticed the man and asked if he could get him something to eat. Then he gave the man his gloves, and brought him a meal. The entire episode took just a few moments, but a mom caught it on her cell phone and posted the story to her Facebook page. That’s why you’re reading about it today.
This is nothing new for Mark’s store. For instance, they gave away chicken sandwiches last year when a blizzard struck the region. A woman employed by the restaurant for a decade says of Mark, “He’s fantastic to work for. You get to watch someone live out an example of who you should be as a person every day. I know it’s had a huge impact on me personally.”
Why is Mark Meadows so generous? He explains that “it all comes from Truett Cathy and the Cathy family and the principles Chick-fil-A has been established on.” One of those principles is “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Truett Cathy has been in heaven since last September, but his legacy will continue until our Lord returns. As Alfred North Whitehead noted, great people plant trees they’ll never sit under.
I wrote Transformed to encourage culture-changing Christianity. Jesus called his followers the salt and light of our world (Matthew 5:13-16). He is using us to preserve and enlighten our culture.
However, human words cannot change human hearts. You and I cannot convict a single sinner of a single sin, or save a single soul. We cannot heal a marriage or transform a life. Only the Holy Spirit can change human spirits. The good news is that when we live faithfully, God uses our words and witness in ways we might never imagine. Mark Meadows had no idea two weeks ago that his simple act of kindness would be the topic of today’s Cultural Commentary. You have no idea how God will use your faithfulness today to advance his Kingdom tomorrow.
I hope you’ll order Transformed. And I hope you’ll join me in asking God to transform you more fully into the image of Jesus today (Romans 8:29). Changed people really do change people.