Dear Friends through Christ:
Today I had a surprise visit from one of my oldest friends, Bob. (really, that’s his name) Bob was a friend of my younger brother, Danny. Bob was 18 and needed a place to stay because his parents where moving, and we all know that Chicago is nicer than Boston. The year was 1981. I was 25 and happened to work for the largest Scrap company in the country, Hyman Michaels. I had plenty of room. Got Bob a job picking up dog poop from eight Dobermans that ran the property at night. As I moved up in the Excess/Secondary Steel market, I brought Bob along, four different times. Even made certain he inherited my good accounts when I entered the seminary. Now, forty-five years later, Bob is part owner of one of the largest distribution centers in the country, Jade-Sterling Steel, earning what most of us can only dream.
I’ll admit Bob’s surprise visit brought up mixed emotions. On one hand I almost feel like a proud dad seeing this mixed-up teenager grow into a successful good man. Yet it does sting a little, knowing what I gave up to follow a call into the ministry. Sometimes, I just say to myself, “What were you thinking?”
But you see, the transition from steel broker to pastor was not that big of a jump. I still need to convince the purchasing agent, you, to look at other options to running your company, or your life. For twenty years I took steel products that were going to be cut up into little pieces, thrown into the fiery furnace as scrap and found them a home. These steel products were simply cleaned up a little and turned into something that was still useful. I became most knowledgeable in the science of metallurgy. I knew that entire book like the back of my hand.
Now I know a different book like the back of my hand. One that teaches the nature of God and the scrap-like human condition. Now, people who are treated or feel like scrap can be cleaned up a little and turned into something that is useful by the Holy Spirit of God. I still try helping, now people, from being thrown into the fiery furnace. In some ways, I’m doing the same thing I guess I was created to do. I just never imagined, it would be harder to give away the gospel of Christ Jesus, than to sell excess/secondary steel products. That is still the one thing that catches me off guard.
Ok, so maybe Bob does earn in one month what it takes me all year to earn, but I am paid in a different type of currency. There is nothing more fulfilling when one scrap-like person accepts the gospel I try my hardest to give away. When someone thanks me for a message or a class that touched their heart. When the gospel gives hope to a grieving widow at the funeral. The baptism of a young woman. Last rites given at a hospital bed. The loved shared at a beach wedding. The intimacy of home visits. When I see a person finally “get it.” Watching people from all walks of life, completely different, sitting down to share a meal at a Potluck. A person bringing a neighbor to church. Simply when any of you share how the Lord made a difference in your week. This is a currency that keeps me fed and full!
So, thank you Bob for stopping by this morning unexpected and giving me a topic for this month’s newsletter. Thank you for reminding me of my true calling—A Scrap Broker for the Lord.
In Christian Love,
Pastor David Trexler
PS: Remember the entire month of March we have Lenten Worship at 12 Noon and 6:45PM, with soup and sandwich starting at 6:00PM. I changed the topic. The first couple of weeks we will examine the Law of God, most clearly seen through our 10 Commandments. The final couple of weeks we will examine how the Cross of Christ Jesus serves as the bridge from the Law of God to the Love of God. Hope all of you can put aside the busyness of the world and take time to grow in faith. Perhaps even share a meal with your fellow scrapy brothers and sisters and give some currency that is priceless—your faith.