Thursday, July 27, 2006

Robin Hood (originally posted April 9, 2005)

While in college, I worked as the Intern Youth Pastor at a church in Ohio. This church was very well-known for the big Bible School that they put on each summer. That year the Bible School director came up to me and asked me if I would be the main character at Bible School. Without asking who the main character was, I agreed. I came into my office the Monday morning of Bible School and there was my costume. It was a little green pull over dress along with a red hat with a green feather sticking out of it; a bow, quiver, arrows, and above all, a pair of bright, green panty hose. You see, for the next five days I was to portray the character of Robin Hood. The worst part was that all of the little kids thought that I was Peter Pan.

The Bible School Director then told me that the Bible School main character always doubles as a bus captain. So I spent the next five days, in the city of Dayton, Ohio, wearing green panty hose, walking little kids from their house to the bus and from the bus to their house. It made the front page of the ‘Dayton Daily News’ in color . . . a picture of me wearing green panty hose. On the first stop, there was this dog who decided on this particular day that its favorite color was ‘green’. It jumped up on me and put a run in my panty hose. Now I was really mad! I had to use finger nail polish remover to stop the run in my stockings.

I was never so glad to see a Friday come. Yet it was on this day that God decided to teach me a lesson. The first stop on the way home from Bible School was a little boy named Timmy. Timmy was only three years old and so small that he couldn’t even walk off the bus by himself. As I carried him off the bus, he put his arms around my neck and placed his nose right up against mine and said, “Robin Hood . . . I love you!” As I got back on the bus it hit me. I wondered how many kids would have given anything on those rides home from Bible School to sit on Robin Hood’s lap and listen to him tell them how much Jesus loved them, but Robin Hood was too busy feeling sorry for himself.

But it was the last stop that God really used in my life. This was the home of a girl named Holly. Her mom was a young mom, about my age. When she saw me on Monday morning, she literally fell to the ground laughing. On Tuesday she had a neighbor there to see me. On Wednesday she had three neighbors there to see me. Fortunately, on Friday she was all by herself as we dropped little Holly off at her house.

I took Holly up to her mom and very half-heartedly said, “Ma’am, Holly has had a wonderful time at Bible School this week and I think it would be great if you would come to the closing program and see what she has learned.” I will never forget her response. She said to me, “Sir (If you can imagine calling someone wearing green panty hose, ‘Sir”), if you’re willing to prance around this city dressed like that, just to get little kids to come to your Bible School, then I’m willing to come to your church and see what your church is all about.” That’s when I realized that God could use me, even wearing green panty hose, as long as I was willing to put the things of the Lord above the things of self.

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