Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Who Do You Represent?

It was an early Saturday morning, I was sitting outside of our church's gym (or multipurpose building...I don't really know what we call it) as I held a crabby Gabriel. I was waiting for Caleb's Upward game to get going, the other games had not ended, so the crowd from those games had not cleared out yet. I saw Josh's dad walk up to the door and come inside, he stood by me and talked, it helped Gabriel to see Papa. It helped me, also, because I was feeling equally crabby as Gabriel was having his moment of being a 3-year-old.

And then a young woman and her husband walked up to Josh's dad and said, "Well, hi, Steve! What are you doing here?!" I didn't know it, but they worked together. They made small talk, he explained that his grandson played Upward and that his son and daughter-in-law attended church here. He introduced her to me.

Then she smiled at me and said...

"Oh, you sing at the 10:30 service, don't you?!"

Instantly I sat up a bit straighter. I tried to wipe off the irritated look I must have had on my face after a difficult morning with one of my kiddos. In that brief moment, I couldn't believe she recognized me as one who she sees on stage.

Stephanie and Lajoie on the left...two girls I sing with if they're on the same rotation! :)
Nathan on the right, our minister of worship. *Photo credit Greentree website, pretty sure Bonnie Hall took them.

I said, "Yes, I do sometimes." I think I also said something about not believing she recognized me because I felt like a bum that day, wearing no make-up, hair barely fixed, jeans and a t-shirt happened to be my attire.

That one moment really got me to thinking. If I'm in front of 400 - 500 people on a Sunday, and if they see me as one who represents the church, and if they see me out and about, I'd better represent the church appropriately, right?

Now please don't misunderstand me. First and foremost (of course) I should ultimately be representing God, His Word, and what His love means. We are His church. So I sort of put representing the church I attend and representing the Lord in the same category (you can disagree, leave a comment). ;) If I take on the responsibility of being in front of people, whether it's something as recognizable as being on stage or being the greeter at the front door, I am a part of something with His name on it (literally or figuratively depending on what church you attend I guess).

So if I'm at Walmart, shouldn't I be very mindful of how I speak to my husband or how I interact with my children? I can just see it now: "Gosh, did you hear what she just said to him? I can't believe she sings on Sunday mornings!"

What about other avenues in life? I've always wondered this. I know people become really adamant about having their professional and personal lives completely separate. If I'm a nurse and I do a great job, then that's that, right? But what if a patient sees me getting plastered at a wedding reception or at some other place. What about teachers? How would I feel if my son's teacher was swearing up and down at her waitress in a restaurant or at a ref during a little league game? What if I heard an off duty police officer make crude jokes in hearing distance of my children?

Shouldn't good character be evident everywhere? Should we really just turn it off and on depending on if we're "on the job" or not?

I don't think the young woman really thought anything of my demeanor that morning. She has children, too. I think most moms are understanding. But it did get me to thinking. I'm not saying I can possibly be perfect everywhere I go, but I do think I should be very mindful of who I represent.

And really...I should be mindful whether I think someone is watching or not.

"A woman of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." Proverbs 31:10


Amanda said...

Almost forgot it was "blog Wednesday" Nice read:) Now you have me thinking too. Not a bad thing. While I'm cleaning my Moms house all day today I will most likely be thinking of this blog! Thanks for sharing:) I'm sure you get sick of me commenting on ur every blog entry HAHA!

Chrissy said...

No, Amanda. In the land of bloggers, we LOVE comments! :)

Nel said...

I must agree Chrissy. I am reminded of this when watching my girls play and talk to each other and interact with others. The way that we act and talk and do things is watched 24/7 (us mom's). And also in the community - people watch us and yes, we should try and always be the person that we want people to see and think we are. I struggle with this when I get tired and frustrated or have a bad day. I have to remember that my attitude spirals through our family and kinda sets the mood.
Same with seeing someone and seeing them act differently than you do when you see them on the job.... you start to wonder and change your thoughts and attitude towards them.

Oh man... not sure that made sense... anyways you get my drift.
I agree.
I should have just made my own post, lol!

Bethany Haid said...

I think so, too. I think its appropriate for people to consider who they represent - their church, their school district, their family name, etc. Of course we are all imperfect sinners and need Jesus to be holy, but trying to live a life that represents the things we believe is important.

I find it incredibly discouraging to see teachers, in particular, misbehaving in public. I always took my role seriously as a role model for students, and it really bothers me that some teachers take this for granted.

SAH in Suburbia said...

Great post - such a great reminder.

Anonymous said...

What a great post, and a great reminder! It's so hard to be a Christian mom sometimes. If we're being "real", then we're not being Christian enough, if we're being Christian, then we're not being real enough...sometimes we can't win.

I think the most important thing is to strive to be consistent in who we are. I do not want my kids to grow up and think, "wow, my mom was really nice and sweet to us in public but was a real hag at home!" If I'm going to yell at them at home, I might as well yell at them in Wal-Mart too, right?? ;) (kidding-slightly)

I simply mean, I long for the day that Christ's love simply flows through me and out of me, but until then, I have to take it day by day and take deep breaths and sometimes secretly squeeze (pinch) the necks of my dear, precious children in the check-out line in Wal-Mart! ;)

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