There's a man at our church named Bobby. I don't know him very well. We've actually only ever spoken on the phone when he has called to remind me that I signed up to bring a salad to the community dinner on Saturday or to help with the food drive next weekend. He's the kind of guy who offers to make those phone calls. But I feel like I know Bobby a bit better than our limited contact would suggest, because he has a reputation. What kind of reputation do you have? Do you wish you had? Bobby's reputation is for service and selfless giving. He's a go-to guy, who quietly and faithfully invests his life in other people. I am not personally aware of even a fraction of all that Bobby does. I know that he helps at a local dinner and drop in centre, talks to people at his Auto Body shop about far more than car repairs, organizes men's groups, delivers cribs and other supplies to new moms in need, goes on missions trips to Ecuador, and is willing to make himself vulnerable in sharing his struggles and stories publicly with our congregation every once in awhile. There's way more.
I recently received a flyer that said this:
"As you may or may not know, this torrid pace Bobby's set has finally taken its toll...physically, emotionally and financially. The first two we'll trust God to heal and continue to pray as Bobby goes through this season of his life. The finances however, that we can do something about."
Last weekend there was an "Amazing Love BBQ" held to raise funds for Bobby. The irony struck me -- even now, as Bobby needs our help instead of the other way around, we are blessed. Blessed to have an opportunity to give, and in that way to contribute, practically and tangibly, to the significant ministry that Bobby has had and to encourage him in it. As the flyer said, "If Bobby has impacted your life in the past few years, be part of a community that responds the same way." I was sorry to miss the BBQ, but glad to participate belatedly. Maybe the element of belated surprise will make it even more fun.
Bobby's not the kind of guy you'd notice in a crowd. He won't make the news. But he has the kind of reputation that I would be proud for any of my children to have.