Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Where am I?

As Jesus and the disciples left the city of Jericho, a huge crowd followed behind. Two blind men were sitting beside the road.

When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

The crowd told them to be quiet, but they only shouted louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

Jesus stopped in the middle of the road and called, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord,” they said, “we want to see!”

Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Instantly they could see! Then they followed him. – Matthew 20:29–34 (NLT)

Jesus walks in the world today, like He did 2,000 years ago. You can see Him if you look hard enough.

He’s the mother cradling a sick child, the father playing catch with his son, the grandfather putting a popped chain back on a bicycle with training wheels, the grandmother setting aside her what she planned for the day so she could watch the kids while their mother ran some errands, the friend who listens no matter what time of the day when you call.

But when Jesus walks by, where am I?

Perhaps I’m one of the blind beggars, crying out for mercy and healing, ignoring those who tell me to give it up, God’s too busy or important for little me, or that my problem is too small or too large or impossible. “Who are you to ask God for anything?” I’m chided. “You’ve been that way all your life. Accept it.” But I’m desperate. I’ve tried everything else. He’s healed so many—the woman who spent all her money on doctors and only got worse. The thousands of people He fed at one time with a little boy’s lunch of bread and fish—and had food left over! Surely there’s hope for me.

Or am I one of the crowd, shushing up those who don’t meet my standards? They’re too dirty or smelly or lazy. They have no hope, so why bother? Or maybe I don’t want to share Jesus, don’t want Him to take time away from me for those dirty beggars who never worked a day in their lives. They’re not “our kind” of people, you know? Am I one of those who love Jesus because of what He can do for me, for the thrill of the miracle?

Or am I one of the disciples, in training, trying to grasp all that this Man can do, all He’s teaching me. I’m watching, waiting, learning—relearning because I was too thick the first time. Or the second. Or third. Jesus is the Man everyone loves and listens to. I’m merely riding on the coattails of His popularity, basking in the reflection of His glory, important only because of my relationship with Him. I’m one of THE disciples. I’m in with the “in” crowd.

Or am I Jesus to someone who will see Him in me? In what I say and do? In my attitudes and responses. Do I dare touch the untouchables. Step out of my comfort zone to help in a tangible way someone who is sick or hurting or needy? Or do I just drop a few extra dollars in the offering plate so someone else can do it?

Where am I in this scene? Or, more importantly: Who am I?

There’s a story about a statue of Jesus that was damaged in World War II. The villagers tried to reconstruct it, but the hands, they discovered, were beyond repair. “A Christ without hands is no Christ at all!” someone said.

They considered replacing the statue, but then someone wrote a poem that was inscribed on a brass plaque and attached to the base of the bomb-damaged figure:

“I have no hands but your hands to do my work today.
I have no feet but your feet to lead men on their way.
I have no tongue but your tongue to tell men how I died.
I have no help but your help to bring men to God’s side.”

Jesus still walks in the world today. Do you see Him?

Dear God, remind me that I don’t just GO to church—I AM the church and part of the body of Your Son. Show me how I can be Jesus to somebody today. Amen.

Special-Tea: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

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