He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. – John the Baptist (John 3:30)
My daughter came home from Hawaii where she’s been for the last two and a half years, and all I got was this T-shirt. That’s a joke, because we received a lot more than T-shirts from Anne. We received her love, her energy, her intensity, her care for her family, and yes, plenty of stories. Anne makes loyal friends wherever she goes and they don’t go away. And as soon as the word got out that she was here, it seemed they all showed up, including old boyfriends who still hold a candle. For Anne’s old boyfriends, the baseball cliche holds true: “Hope springs eternal.”
As for the t-shirt, it’s from a local surf-clothing company from the town near her home in Hale’iwa, Hawaii. The name of the company is also a clever logo: HE>i (He is greater than i). On their website (www.hegreaterthani.com) is this description of their purpose. “Our purpose is to produce quality clothing and accessories to encourage, inspire, and share the Good News of our savior, Jesus. We do our best to create simple and original products that provide opportunities for people to share the Good News with anyone who asks about our simple logo. Most people have a story about when they first discovered what our logo (HE>i) means – either by figuring it out on their own or having someone share the meaning with them. We love hearing personal stories about how God has used our simple logo to bless and encourage different people around the world!”
I would see these people as out of the modern-day book of Acts. They are putting their faith into their business in a unique and creative way. I like, too, that they have chosen a more obscure passage of scripture with a thought-provoking message that begs deeper reflection. This is not just an identification with a Christian subculture, it is an attitude that grows out of truly encountering God in Christ. This is not a brand (unfortunately that’s what John 3:16 is now), it is a statement of what happens when a human being truly encounters Christ: He must increase; I must decrease.
He must get all the attention; I must fade into the background.
He must be exalted; I must be humbled.
He is the big Self; I am the little self (so selfishness is out of the question).
It’s what He wants that matters; not what I want.
He must become greater and greater; I must become less and less, until I lose myself totally in Him.
That’s a lot to get out of one t-shirt — and this is just scratching the surface. Way to go, all you guys with He>i.