There’s a dance that goes on in our neighborhood every weekend…
One person stops at the corner, planting a sign promoting their open house. Another person can be seen taping up an offer for a website or yard work or a garage sale.
Minutes or hours or days later, the neighborhood representative comes through with clippers and gloves, cutting down or uprooting these signs and tossing them in their pickup truck. These signs, planted with care and optimism just before, are destined for the landfill.
I once saw a man putting out signs along our road, followed by another two blocks behind pulling them out.
One might think that, knowing that their signs will get torn down, people would stop displaying them. And yet, every weekend, there they are.
Our friendly neighborhood sign planter does not know who will drive by. He does know if those who drive by are in the market for a house, or simply curious, or are rushing to the next urgent thing on their calendar. Someone might not even think of buying a house for a decade, or think they need help putting up Christmas lights. But when, later, the moment collides with a need, perhaps one of those signs will come to mind.
Entrepreneurs reveal their dogged and determined belief in the American dream every weekend. If it didn’t work—if those signs didn’t move the needle or prove themselves to be worth the time of putting them out—people wouldn’t do it.
And so on a Saturday morning, while the rest of the neighborhood sleeps in or heads to a soccer match or munches cereal, the determined hustlers go out and plant their signs.
This is faithfulness: A rightly-placed belief that the actions taken today affect an outcome tomorrow.
Those who love Jesus are in the sign business too. Your very life is a sign. It is a sign that points to Jesus, that reflects the good news of His Gospel, that lives out redemption with skin on.
God gives the grace, His Word gives the message. We don’t know who will read the signs, who will think of the signs later, or who will take action based on the signs. We don’t know who will attempt to eliminate the messages of the signs. We don’t know if even those pulling up signs and trying to trash the message will be impacted by the words years from now. We don’t know who, of all the people we interact with over our lifetimes, will hear and respond.
We don’t need to know these things. We have only to plant the signs.
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)