Saturday, January 27, 2024

He's Still There

I found a book a while back.
It's a kid's book modeled after the "Where's Waldo?" series.
Except, instead of looking for a tall, thin fellow in a striped shirt and stocking cap amidst 
a great, swarming mob, you're supposed to locate the artist's depiction of...get ready...Jesus.
It feels like a worthy process to just consider 
how Jesus might be part of our lives; where he might show up,
and how he might be seen, or maybe be there but unseen.
I believe we are mostly unaware that he is with us...most of our days.
Yet he promised us that once we invite him into our lives, it would be impossible to shake him, 
even if we tried.
Still...I think that the issue is less about geography and more about our peace of mind and spirit.
Looking for him in a drawing or picture is one thing, finding him in the middle of my messy life experience is another.
Yet, I think that's exactly where we need to experience him and where he wants most for us to seek after him.
In the middle of community injustices and disease.
In the middle of wars, and rumors of war.
Standing for the hurting, the lost, the disenfranchised.
In the midst of my personal confusion or...
In my immensity of grief. 
CS Lewis said, 

           "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, 
               but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

That really makes me go, "Hmmmmmmm."
I have a friend who wrote these words in song titled, "Broken Down," many years back, in reflection upon a cancer diagnosis that took his life at 23 years of age.

   "I think I know you're there, but I could really use a sign.
    And I think I'm doin' okay, but I could use some sleep tonight.
    I think that I'm working this out, but I could use some peace of mind.
    I don't think I've ever been this alone, I don't think I've ever been this alive."

These thoughts all reflect to me the presence of Jesus in moments of life that he may be difficult to be found and yet is absolutely available if I can sidestep those things that would distract me from his spirit.
Can I have one foot planted in the discomfort of my hurt and understand that while he doesn't 
remove me from that space and all its complications he will sustain me there?
I think so.
And I'm grateful for his hand in mine.
It means everything.
But in the moment....I can still hurt.
(Link to the song mentioned, "Broken Down" by Spencer Green)

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