by Bil Aulenbach

Watch Me

My wife, Annie, and I recently drove to Lake Tahoe, California, for our annual ski vacation. During a stopover in Sacramento, we went to breakfast in our hotel’s lobby. As we entered, I noticed a man sitting by himself and wearing a T-shirt that said Watch Me.

I thought that was a strange message and wondered whether I should watch him all the time, some of the time, or just occasionally.

Soon after Annie and I selected our breakfast and sat down, a young couple entered, said good morning to Mr. Watch Me, and continued to the food counter. Then two women came in and greeted him, too, before moving to the buffet. Soon, they were all sitting at his table.

I couldn’t hear all of their conversation but soon gathered that Mr. Watch Me’s companions were his wife, his daughter with her husband, and another woman. As they ate, Mr. Watch Me started talking—or rather, preaching.

He pointed to the words Watch Me and then to the message underneath, which said “1 Corinthians 13, St. Paul’s love letter.” Obviously, this was a very important T-shirt and message. I was fascinated and thought of this man’s speech as my Sunday morning sermon—with no offering required.

I’m paraphrasing, but his speech went something like this: I wear this shirt all the time. I became a Christian in 1991. I love the Lord and I want my actions to live up to Paul’s love letter. I wear this T-shirt to remind myself that my actions speak louder than my words. Watch me. Am I being a loving person?

Wow! What a powerful Sunday message. I found it interesting to see Mr. Watch Me’s son-in-law and the third woman engaging with him as he elaborated on the power of his message. I wanted to thank him for sharing but regrettably didn’t, though I have mulled over his words a lot since then.

Watch Me has been the bottom line of my message for years, primarily to myself. I don’t want someone asking “Am I saved?” or “Are you a Christian?” I want my being to exude agape. When you look at me, what do you see? Agape or judgment, condemnation, and rejection? I want you to see acceptance, openness, and positivity. If you do not see this, then I need to do more homework.

I would like to clarify that if someone crosses my proverbial line in the sand with bigotry, prejudice, hatred, or negativity, then I’ll react—just like Jesus refused to tolerate negative behavior. Honest confrontation is also part of the Watch Me philosophy.

I was exhilarated by this man who, probably without even knowing it, preached a world-changing message.

What does Watch Me mean to you?

 

Image courtesy of harlandspinkphoto (CC BY 2.0)

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