My friend David walked out of prison after 12 years into an economy with 8 or 14 percent employment, depending on whose experts you believe. I am in touch with him daily, and I was getting a little nervous because I knew he needed a job but he was going around moving into people's lives with various kinds of helps and counseling rather than aggressively seeking work.
One man he lives with lost his 8-year-old son some time back, and David noticed a much cherished but torn photograph of the little boy, and offered to repair it. Not only did he repair it but he constructed a beautiful frame for the picture, using tree bark, which perfectly combined the man's two loves-his son and the great outdoors.
Then David started spending a lot of time with his brother and 12-year-old nephew, once staying up half the night to make him a wonderful shield, complete with family "coat of arms." To observe David is to understand what the Bible means by being led by the Spirit-without any appearance of striving or anxiousness, he is carried about from one person to another, and leaves their lives more blessed for having been there.
But that isn't the way to earn a buck.
In the course of his involvement with his brother and nephew, David came to make the acquaintance of another man who learned of David's craftsmanship. That man had just bid on a project to retrofit hospital rooms with antimicrobial copper walls, and won the bid but didn't have enough manpower for such a big job. He took on David.
So now David-a 57-year-old ex-con in a recession-has a job, while millions of other more likely men do not. And my takeaway lesson is the lesson Jesus taught about birds and flowers, the teaching that is too scary to act on unless you are a man like David who believes God like a child:
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6:33).