While doing campus ministry, Becky Pippert met a student named Bill on a college campus in Portland, Oregon. Bill was a brilliant young man who always looked like he was pondering something deep. He had long messy hair and was always barefoot. During the entire time Becky knew him, she never saw him wear a pair of shoes. Rain, sleet, or snow, Bill was always barefoot.

One Sunday morning Bill took Becky up on her invitation to church. He crossed the street from the college campus to the traditional middle-class church that Becky was attending. He walked in with his long messy hair, wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt. Of course, he was also wearing no shoes. Although the people in the pews looked a bit uncomfortable, no one said anything to Bill.

Bill began walking down the aisle looking for a seat. Finding the church crowded and no seats available, Bill, much to Becky’s chagrin, sat down on the carpet in the front of the church. The figure of Bill sitting in the floor in front of the church’s pulpit was a little unnerving for a buttoned-down church congregation. The tension in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Suddenly, an elderly man dressed in a three-piece suit, began walking down the aisle toward Bill. As he approached Bill, the church grew silent. You could have heard a pin drop. All eyes were focused on what they perceived to be an inevitable confrontation between the church’s head usher and this uncouth visitor to the church’s Sunday morning service.

As the head usher neared Bill, he slowed down. Then, with no little difficulty, he lowered himself to the floor. He and Bill worshipped together that Sunday morning seated on the carpet. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. At the conclusion of the service, the preacher remarked, “You will soon forget the sermon you have heard this morning, but you will never forget the one that you have seen!”

Why not paint a sermon today?