Many of you know Perry Lowman at The Lake. He and his wife, Carole, have been a constant fixture here for several years. Carole heads up our Women on Mission Group and Perry has served on our Executive Leadership Team. You may also know that Perry suffered an injury while officiating a High School Football game that required surgery recently; keeping him immobile during recovery; which is not the lifestyle Perry, or Carole, are accustomed to. But, this past Sunday, Perry came to church at our 9:30 Worship Gathering. Now, I know many people who are recovering from surgery and who spend most of their time in a recliner, or a wheelchair, can think of all kinds of excuses not to get out in public. It’s too much trouble; takes too long to get ready; too many people will ask questions; don’t like the attention or the crowds. And, I’m not saying Perry made any of these excuses, but it would be understandable if he did. People use any kind of excuse not to come to church these days; weather; tired; only day off; don’t like crowds; don’t feel 100%; you know what I’m saying.
However, Perry came to church; wheelchair and all. I can always count on a word of affirmation from him about the message; “That was a good one there, son.” And, many of you can always expect a welcoming smile and handshake, and if you are a child, an oatmeal cookie. But this past Sunday, God used Perry in an unexpected way; maybe not unexpected to God, because when God steps into our life, there’s no telling the impact we may have on another individual, and we not even realize it at first.
As Perry and Carole were leaving Sunday morning, there was a young man also leaving in a wheelchair; the aftermath of a terrible motorcycle accident days before. I’ve spoken with people who have been involved in motorcycle accidents and the recovery is not quick. But, here was a young man, a recently new attender to The Lake, with a pretty good excuse not to get out and come to church on a Sunday morning because of the pain associated with his accident, and because he came, is crossing paths with Perry; in a wheelchair. And, in that moment; a moment God stepped into, there’s a brief conversation, because Perry enjoys conversations, and then Perry offers this young man some words of encouragement, “It’s gonna get better. You’ll be okay.” Then, Perry prays for this young man. I keep saying young man, because I don’t know his name yet. Neither did Perry. But, when God steps in…
…lives are changed.
I share this story, not because I want to lift up an individual, but I want to lift up God; not because I witnessed it, but because I heard about it. Second-hand, third-hand; it doesn’t matter. What matters, and what I believe we all need to learn and understand is this…when God steps in…we step out. We step out of our comfort zones; we step out of any excuse we may have thought we had; we step out of hesitations; we step out of fear…we step out of selfishness into selflessness, and put others first. And, when we respond to God’s leading…others take note. May we all be attentive to when God steps into our life, and may we respond to his leading; no matter what; no matter when, and step out…even if we’re in a wheelchair.