ISSUES OF FAITH: Remember: What is right isn’t always what is easy

I SEND PEOPLE in my congregation birthday and anniversary cards.

Most cards are too feminine, so I make my own.

I’m guessing the people who design Hallmark cards don’t have beards.

Just a guess.

My cards aren’t elaborate.

No glue, and certainly no glitter.

I search for just the right picture online, copy it and paste it on a half sheet of heavy paper, fold it in half, write a verse or personal note on the inside, stuff it into an envelope, address it, stamp it and then drive it to the post office inside the general store in Joyce to mail it.

Finding the right picture and thinking of something pithy and personal to write on the inside is the fun part.

One of my birthday cards has a photograph of the steering wheel and dashboard of a 1957 Chevy.

“As you steer into another year, may your course be certain and the bumps be few.”

An anniversary card looks through the windshield of an old car at a smiling young couple sitting side-by-side.

Inside there’s an encouragement to stay close — and to get rid of any vehicle that has bucket seats.

One of my favorite birthday cards for a guy is a photograph of a man standing with his hands in his pockets and on the back of his jacket I’ve superimposed a picture of a yellow “Under Construction” sign.

Next to the man the card reads “And I’m sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

Construction is always messy, but men can smile knowing that God does good work and always finishes what he starts.

A front cover that says, “Hope has a name …” and on the inside “Jesus” and Romans 5:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Front cover: “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (cf. Ephesians 3:20).

Inside: But he still invites us to do both — ask — imagine “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

A picture of hands masterfully shaping clay while it spins on the potter’s wheel.

“But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8).

Enjoy the ride.

A picture of a compass with the “N” replaced with “Jesus.” Stay on course.

Yes, you can purchase a card.

Or you can forget the card and stamp and trip to the post office.

Just text, email or wish someone happy birthday or happy anniversary on social media.

That’s much easier than making a card. But easier shouldn’t always be the goal.

Consider taking the time and thought to invest in someone’s life.

Make and send a card.

Make it fancy or make it simple.

Make someone smile.

_________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Greg Reynolds is pastor of Joyce Bible Church. His email is jbc@joycebiblechurch.org.

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