Tom Brokaw called them the greatest generation….
I came to find one thing about the people of that time. If you wanted to get to know them…
You didn’t go out for coffee. You didn’t sit down for a heart to heart talk.
You went out and worked together.
Perhaps you would paint a fence together.
Perhaps work on your bike or car together.
I painted a huge fence one summer with an old man who talked and worked. When the working stopped—the talking mostly stopped. There was something that work activated in him that caused a sense of camaraderie and sparked opportunities for him to pass on his knowledge about painting—but mostly he shared lessons and stories from his life….
I think he practiced something we have lost.
Something I see that patterned in God.
Here you have people in the Garden of Eden, and they have direct access to God. God could choose anything in the world to do. He could use any tool to get to know them.
He could have them sing songs to Him.
He could have them bow and pray to Him.
Anything He wanted.
What does God choose to do? He takes Adam by the arm and says “You know Adam, I have a project over here that I could use some help with. Let’s go do some work together. I think I could use your help with these new animal things I’ve just made…you look like the kind of guy who could come up with some good names…”
Of all the ways to build a relationship with people, God chooses to work alongside us. It’s in the act of working together that God chooses to build trust and relationship with us.
Working with us—is His first choice.
Not being worshiped
Not just sitting around and talking with us
Not revealing deep truths to us
Painting a fence. Making names.
That is God’s Way to get to know you. If you really want to get to know God—my guess is that He probably still has a project or two lying around that He would be interested in getting some help with.
Grab a brush and open your mind.
- Jimmy Spencer Jr., Painting Fences and Making Names, Red-Letter Christians blog, May 19th, 2011