After a full day of hiking through some of the most beautiful landscape God has created we received the message Dr. Larry Hull had passed away. This message took my breath away as much as hiking through the side of a mountain at 7,000 feet. Larry was a member of the Centralia Naz Church where I served for about 7 years. He was a good man and an amazing follower of Jesus. After retirement, he and his wife Aarlie bought a coffee plantation in Papua New Guinea to begin working towards fair trade and employment for the local residents. Oh yeah, and in his free time, set up a medical clinic, school and wells for clean water. All he did for PNG is not why I deeply respect this man.
Preaching is scary. There is monumental responsibility placed upon our shoulders when we stand up front sharing God’s story. We are to tell it correctly, in a way that engages and encourages all to be more like Jesus. Through the scariness of preaching on a Sunday, there was one thing I knew I could count on, Monday morning there would always be an email from Larry telling me the good thoughts and thinking points he received from my message and how thankful he was I shared.
This is the paradox of the economy of Jesus, the first shall be last, we come to serve not be served. And small, barely seen acts of kindness are greater than big acts receiving much attention. Matthew 6:1 states: "Watch out! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” Larry knew this economy well, and though he accomplished many notable things in the eye of the public he also did many wonderful things outside the spot light.
How he lived his life challenges me to be a better follower of Jesus, to do those things which will receive little to no praise or acknowledgement here on earth but will put a smile of the face of Jesus in heaven. The best way I know to honor Larry is to invite you to join me as I seek to be more like Jesus and to find ways to quietly execute random acts of kindness, to work each day to put a smile on the face of Jesus. What do you think, want to be a part of this adventure with me?
Blessings, Pastor Lisa Roberson