Rocks and minerals are rather ubiquitous at our church, being found everywhere from the name of the church to a loop off of the driveway to the watercourses and all the way into my office. The rocks and minerals in my office, though, are of a rather different nature than the others.
Some years ago, I had a craftsman in our church build me a locking, lighted display case that I could use to display many of the specimens I have collected through the years. I have been a rockhound since I was just a small boy, finding a gorgeous piece of almandine garnet and having it cut into a shield shape was all it took to have me hooked for life.
That display case has, among other things, specimens of lovely yellow sulphur, vibrant green malachite, megalodon teeth, deep purple amethyst, golden citrine, wild and weirdly shaped bismuth, ammonite fossils, aquamarine, raw copper, mosasaurus teeth and, perhaps my favorite of all, a lovely slab of charoite, which only comes from one region in Siberia and is now, to my knowledge, mined out.
Anyone with knowledge of the subject knows that none of those things are particularly valuable; they are just beautiful and interesting. They serve no real purpose other than to look at.
The rocks outside of our church, though, are very different. They may not seem like much when it comes to appearance, but day after day they actually perform valuable functions for our people. The gravel on the driveway loop allows people to drive around in a circle when dropping people off under the church awning rather than having to back up to get back to the parking lot. The riprap lining the water course than runs down beside our very long driveway serves to keep water from eroding that area into the deep, red clay gully it was before we bought the property and smoothed it out.
You will not find gravel or riprap in my display case. You will simply find them serving others all day every day without anyone ever ooohing and ahhhing over their beauty and shininess.
By very definition, Christians are to be far more like gravel and riprap than the shiny stones in a display case. Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, though he regularly and faithfully went to the temple, did not merely confine himself within its lovely walls. He went out to the multitudes and did things that all of the "polished people" of his day would not do. He touched the lepers, he held the children, he fed the hungry, he preached to the lost, he wept with the sorrowful and he calmed the frightened.
America is right now in the midst of the coronavirus hysteria. History will, I think, look back on mass behavior during this time and say, "What was wrong with those people? Hoarding toilet paper? Slashing each other with broken bottles? Why did so many lose their minds over this?"
One thing all of this has done is expose the truth that either A) There are far fewer Christians in America than we would like to suppose, or B) Christians have forgotten what they are here for and how they are expected to conduct themselves. As 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ." Christians are the representatives of our King to the world. And so, all of you who truly are fellow ambassadors, may I urge you to do a few rather simple things at this time and in any future time of trouble?
One, have enough faith to buy only what you will need for a few days, and leave plenty on the shelf for others who will also have need. Do all of your "prepping and storing" ahead of time, not during the crisis itself.
Two, check in on those older or weaker and run their errands or do their tasks for them.
Three, as much as you have the ability to do so, give to the needs of others.
Four, refrain from losing your temper, keep calm and keep others calm as well. Panic and savagery hardly befit people representing Christ on this Earth.
Five, keep the lines of communication open. Call people. Reach out to them on social media. If possible, visit the downtrodden. Don't shut down and shut yourself off. Christ said of us, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid."
Rocks and minerals are pretty in their display case. But they don't have much value at all to a world who needs daily, consistent Christians to be out and among them.
Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com. Email him at email@example.com.