i'm frazzled and they are all frazzled and to calm my nerves i try and say back those words from romans that are, for whatever reason refusing to become embedded in my memory.
it's as i'm whispering those words,
i sit with my hands on the wheel and i'm nodding because it's me,
i've lacked all four today.
and the weight is heavy.
that's when i looked up past the speedometer and the road to the van in front of me.
i looked up just as i got to romans chapter 8 verse 1 and there in the top left hand corner, just below the rear window was a small metal ichthys wrapped around His Name and He met me on the corner opposite that mcdonald's as i whispered out,
therefore, there is now no condemnation for those
who are in Christ Jesus...
and there is a man on that corner most days, his sign says he's hungry and isn't there just someone who could spare a dollar?
i drive by most days without ever making eye contact...
i avert my gaze because sometimes it's just easier not to see.
and i wonder, how often do we do that with each other?
how often do we walk the hallways of our churches and don't really see?
flash a quick smile,
shake hands and spit out a hello while barely making eye contact before we move on.
how often do we hear a sermon about reaching out to the poor and lost among us and smile and nod and assume someone else will do that job while we remain quiet and comfortable where we are?
we do we run from the hurting brother or sister instead of surrounding them and carrying them to Jesus?
we carry our hand santizers in pockets and purses and it's seeping into the way we deal with one another - and your mess is too messy for my life and so i just won't meet your gaze,
i just won't look,
i'll focus on how fast i'm going or the road i'm on...
but i wonder, when we look,
really look at the person who is stopped still in front of us,
stopped in the middle of a mess or broken heart or the deep pain of their broken humanity,
will we really see the mark of Christ on their life?
will reaching out past our fear and our aversions to the messy
be met instead with an encounter with Jesus,
and find that incredibly, in Him alone, we have been set free...