The Guy in the T-Shirt
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:27
Earlier this week I made a quick trip to Kansas to present a teacher in-service. As I was sitting in the airport in Chicago, I was enjoying some people watching. One guy walked past in a T-shirt that read, A blood donor saved my life. After he passed by, my mind began to wonder if he had been in an accident or if maybe he had been afflicted with an illness. Lost in thought, the T-shirt made me grateful for the generosity of people, especially those who donate blood so others like this man might be alive and healthy.
A few minutes later, I saw the same guy walking in the opposite direction and I caught a glimpse of the back of his T-shirt and it displayed the words from Matthew 26:28, for this is my blood of the new covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I thought that was an amazing T-shirt!
Once again, my thoughts drifted to gratefulness…but this time for the ultimate blood donor, Jesus. I was thinking how cool it was that he wore that T-shirt in the most public place I could imagine. I suddenly got the urge to tell him how cool I thought his T- shirt was and I heard my mom’s voice in my ear saying “If you’ve got something nice to say to someone, you’d better spit it out cause folks need to hear good stuff.” I decided to find him and tell him…but then I realized that by the time I packed up my laptop, grabbed my suitcase and headed out of the boarding area, I would literally have to run through the terminal to find him and the vision of a chubby woman with a cup of coffee trotting through the airport tugging along a floral print suitcase behind her might be more than the good folks gathered at O’Hare airport were ready for on a Sunday morning! So, I stayed put, said a quick prayer for the guy in the cool T-shirt and went about my business.
A few minutes later I was reminded that God has an excellent sense of humor because the empty seat beside me was soon occupied by none other than the guy with the great T-shirt! It was all I could do not to laugh out loud! I told him I loved his shirt and that led to an amazing conversation that inspired and uplifted me! The gentleman told me that he knew he’d be spending the whole day in airports so he chose an outfit with a message. As he tugged on the T-shirt that morning he thought if one person noticed the message then he’d made a good choice for Jesus. (I’m not sure that has ever been the criteria on which I based my outfit choice…but it just might be someday.) As we sat in conversation, I was impressed by this man’s faith, his trust and his optimism. Both he and his wife had recently lost their jobs thanks to our current economy and in addition to raising their 15 yr. old son; they had recently and unexpectedly become guardians of their 11 month old grandson. He spoke about the way he felt God working in his life and about his expectant hope in God’s good plan for him and his family. He had every right to be frustrated, angry, anxious and cranky but he chose to put on a great T-shirt and God’s peace instead. He truly lived these words from Galatians and “put on the clothing of Christ”. He dressed himself in Christ both spiritually and physically! The situation started with a comment about a T-shirt, and ended up being a lesson in God’s love and grace. Who knew???
A seed to plant: This one is a double challenge! First, one day this week, purposefully wear or display something that will specifically draw attention to Jesus. Maybe it’s a T-shirt with a great message, religious jewelry or a sign in the rear window of your car. Second, take my mom’s advice and each time you think of something good to say…be sure you spit it out…let someone hear you say something good!
Blessings on your day!
Mary Lee Klein
8/16/2012 03:28:21 am
What an inspirational story. How many of us are afraid to show people how we really feel about God. Also, I liked what you said about if you have something good to say about a person...SAY IT! I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful lady write something good to my boss about me in which he shared it with me. It made me feel so good. Unfortunately, about two weeks later, I read about her in the obituary. She was killed in an auto accident. I've learned that if you have something good to say, say it. Shari, I love all your articles, please keep them coming. Looking forward to the fall sessions of the Daughter of God series.
8/16/2012 03:43:50 am
What a wonderful story and message today!! So that must mean I can dig out my 'Birth Control is for Sissies' t-shirt, eh?? Thought I'd 'retired' it. My favorite was wearing it in the beer tent while 8 months preggo ;) Although I love the saying so I do have t-shirts in 'preggo size' and 'normal size'. Thanks for the smile this morning!!
8/16/2012 03:47:05 am
Wonderful story! You amaze me, what a gift you have writing these post. Thanks so much for sharing your God given talent with the rest of us.
8/16/2012 06:46:30 am
Great to have part of my homework done before I read your post! This morning I sent a good news note to another mom telling her how wonderful her highschoolers are with my daughter's day care kids at the park. She will get the opportunity to tell them that they were caught being good! Little things - at all levels - really do make a difference.
8/16/2012 08:06:06 am
I believe it was God's plan for you to see this guy at the airport and since you couldn't get to him, God got the two of you seated together on the airplane.
8/18/2012 02:31:32 am
Awesome story. I remind the kids often that 'its not a coincidence if you believe in God." You have proven it once again.
8/26/2012 06:56:54 am
8/27/2012 12:44:59 pm
Great story Mrs. Wohlfert! You were a great teacher for 1st grade and you know a lot about Jesus. I think that is really cool. Thanks for always being so nice. I like that you kept our classroom really neat and organized. I love you! Ella
8/30/2012 11:59:08 am
Sheri, My cousin just told me about your site and I have really enjoyed it and and appreciate her sharing AND YOUR sharing. I've really enjoyed everything I've read, but had to comment specifically on this one because my mom had the same philosophy about sharing the good things about others. So please know that you are an inspiration to others. Thank you for that and keep up the great work.
9/21/2012 04:03:09 am
when traveling in a city and want to park close, it is best to park near the airport.
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