Possibly the most profound moment of this week (for me at least) happened as a few of us stood outside the restrooms after lunch with an Abraham Lincoln impersonator.
The casualties of the daily peanut butter and jelly assembly line were freshly smeared across one folding table when a car crunched into the gravel parking lot just outside. Steve and Vern told us who was here (forgive me, sir, I forget your real name – you are too good at what you do), and then explained that he’s an Abraham Lincoln impersonator and—of course—a good friend.
I expected someone tall-ish, probably bearded, but a moment later Abraham Lincoln himself stooped through the doorway into the kitchen in a dirty t-shirt and slacks. We all stared. Probably awkwardly, although I’m sure he gets this all the time because … Lincoln.
He made himself a PB&J, and then shared a little bit about what he does—although he kept punctuating it with, “We really should be talking about Jesus …”
Then he put on his Lincoln voice (which, of course, he has studied as best as anyone probably can from written accounts), and did the Gettysburg Address:
After lunch, traffic jammed at the intersection of the kitchen door, the restrooms, the staircase, and the hallway back to the warehouse, and someone asked Lincoln a question that got him talking. (I think no one wanted him to leave. He stayed and worked in the warehouse a bit, but I mean … if you had a chance to talk to Lincoln, you’d want to make it last too.)
At one point, he made a comment about John the Baptist’s call to, “decrease so that He (Jesus) can increase.” He said he thinks about it sometimes when he’s being Lincoln, because, “When you’re impersonating someone else, there’s just no room for you.” To do his job well, he has to put on Lincoln and leave himself behind.
“It’s really the same with us as Christians.”
He gently set that live grenade down in our circle and then waited for it to go off. Then, maybe just to make sure, he fired at it anyway: “We represent Christ. If we’re really doing our jobs, there’s no room for us—just Jesus. Just be Jesus.”
Alexis is an Associate Editor and Researcher by day, and a Redefined Ministry Servant by night. When she’s not in front of a keyboard (which is almost never), she likes playing with her toddler, reading, and eating too much Indian food.