Perhaps it is a sign for our times. Perhaps it is a statement about the world in which we live. Perhaps it simply teaches us an important lesson. Hmmm. Which is it going to be?
A couple of months ago, I drove home, down the large hill just before my small cul-de-sac. There it was. I’ve seen it every day now for two months and I’m not sure if it will ever go away. Emblazoned on the back of a house, like a huge billboard for us all to read were huge red and green letters (against the white stucco background). They said, “Save my son. No cell site.” What did it mean.
I got home to discover a letter from the City announcing the installation of a cell signal booster tower, just like the one near church. I was (and am) jazzed. I can use my phone everywhere in my neighborhood. But alas, not everyone is happy about it. The letter requested input, so I gave my opinion – and asked if they could do something to remove that obnoxious sign.
I heard nothing. Ever. Last week I decided that two months was long enough to wait, so I called the City. Well, the department to which I sent the email doesn’t do code enforcement. Not sure why they never thought to tell me that, so I got another extension. Left a message. A lovely city worker did call me back. She understood the eyesore — but the City Attorney ruled that the sign, since it doesn’t advertise anything, is a free speech issue. The City won’t do anything. So, live with the sign until the cell pole goes up. Or not. We shall see.
But that got me thinking. Maybe our next big evangelistic campaign should be to create huge letters for all of us that we can put on our homes. They could say, “Jesus Saves.” What a great tool for the Gospel — and if we keep the name of the church off, it’s not advertising. It’s covered by free speech. Apparently. Do you think they’d still say that with “Jesus” on our houses? I imagine the City Attorney would find a way to declare that as offensive speech, so we’d have to take them all down. The irony of it all.
I did quickly regain my sanity, however, and stopped the development of the letters. Why? Because letters on our house is not the most effective way to share the love and grace of the Savior. I don’t believe a billboard is more effective than our relationships with our neighbors. I mean, the huge sign offended me, so I’m sure my religious message would offend my neighbors too. I’m called to love them. Serve them. Know them. Encourage them. Not blast them. So instead of a bold “sign initiative,” I’m asking our first step to be something radical. Learn the names of all your neighbors. Step two could be invite them over for dessert or something. I’ll give it some thought.
How can we proactively share the Savior that we love, without a billboard? One by one. Love. Share. Give. And then love some more. So that sign is a little about our times, but mostly a reminder that we need to love, not shout at, people.