The story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all. ~Frederick Buechner

Relish the Moment

Sometimes, if you’re like me, you can get so busy doing your job that you forget the big picture. Like when you stay late for work to help the customer who snuck in the door right before you locked it. Then you miss your ride home from work and have to walk. Then you get to dinner late and all that’s left is Ramen noodles and mustard packets. And to top things off, someone is sitting at YOUR table. You’re ready to snap, hang all this Jesus stuff back on the cross when suddenly, he walks in the room.

Not Jesus, but the next best thing.

Stewart Brown.


Stewart is Matthew 5:16 in the flesh, letting his light shine on Wilson brighter than the old sign on Uptown Baptist Church. He learned about God as a little kid and never lost that childlike faith, even at the age of 31.

While Stewart might tell you otherwise, his main job is helping the rest of us remember what our purpose really is: loving others, or better yet, loving being with others. That doesn’t sound like a dirty job but it is a big one, requiring each one of us to rid ourselves of our crappy attitudes, stinky grumbling, and poopy pity parties. Stewart accomplishes this with a bit of hug therapy or by giving a big smile or high five. But there is one more thing Stewart might give you.

A hot dog.

This guy has friends in high places and not just heaven. I’m talking about those nose bleed seats at Wrigley Field. The Cubs donate their leftover “Cubbie dogs” to JPUSA and Stewart makes sure they end up in the mouths that need them.

And just who needs a hot dog?

“Everyone,” Steward giggled before getting serious. All kinds of people come out of the woodwork after a home game. They include those who sleep under the viaduct, those who live in the shelters and low income housing plus others who need help without judgment. They come for a hot dog but will end up with much more.

I asked Stewart if anyone in the Bible was equipped to handle his job.

“Moses, because he fed all those people manna.”

Stewart’s other responsibilities include helping at the shelter, locking up, clean team, and helping with donut donations (f you didn’t know about them, that’s because you’re working too hard).

So what does Stewart think is the best thing about living at Jesus people?

“All of it.”

Imagine what Uptown would be like everyone let their light shine like Stewart Brown. If everyone embraced the homeless. If everyone spent their time helping those they can see instead of worrying about things they can’t. Imagine if everything everyone did was motivated by their desire to share their faith.

Uptown would be a different place.

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

Ginger MacDonald
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