The button on my coat


On the lapel of my winter coat is a button-type pin. You know, those little metal buttons that have a slogan written on them? Oh, how I want to take it off sometimes.

At a Texas Baptists conference a year or two ago, I stopped at the Texas WMU booth to say hello to the delightful ladies there and to see what kind of goodies they were giving away. One can generally count on seeing a bowl of candies, sometimes a tote bag, and maybe a free book or t-shirt. This particular time, the WMU of Texas had among its doo-dads these little buttons, black with white and red lettering.

The slogan said, "I WILL LIVE THE DIFFERENCE". Catchy. Clever. Maybe even a witness. I took one and put it on my coat lapel. So why do I sometimes want to take it off? I think you know. There are times that I may not "LIVE THE DIFFERENCE", and I do not want to discredit or bring shame to my Lord. As a minister's spouse, you probably feel an extra weight of responsibility here. We certainly never want the words to be said, "She did so-and-so, and she is the minister's wife?"

That little button has been going around with me at least two winters. It reminds me to be patient when waiting in line, and I find myself in a lot more waiting lines since moving to Dallas. The button reminds me to be gracious to someone who is snappy or rude. It reminds me to smile more and to speak up about Jesus when I find a chance.

Lord Jesus, thank You for making a difference in my life. May I live the difference for You, everywhere I am.

On the lapel of my winter coat is a button-type pin. I think I'll keep it.

Kathleen Hardage, wife of Executive Director David Hardage, recently retired from her career as a teacher in public schools. She and David have been in the ministry since 1981, and she loves the life. Kathleen and David have two children, John and Rebekah, daughter-in-law Melissa, and granddaughter Anne Marie. They are a family of sports fans. Kathleen also loves history, reading and teaching in a weekly Bible study.

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