Ever Present

My son left last night, going home to his apartment, and I barely said “goodbye” to him.  I don’t love him any less.  I just wasn’t “there”.   My wife talks to me sometimes and can get so frustrated.  Because, if I am doing anything, she knows I am not “there” for her.

God, and in turn Jesus, promised that He would not leave us.  “I will never leave you or forsake you,” and, “lo, I am with you always,” are quotes from each of them.  But for many of us, it can have a hollow ring to it.  Particularly after we’ve walked a while in Christian circles where patience is lauded as such a virtue but the acquisition of it is so often ridiculed.

I think about the vastness of the universe and can feel so small on God’s priority list.  Why should He, or would He care about my needs?

My grandson was born and I got to hold him for the first time yesterday.  He is so tiny with very few needs.  His older brother is two and vastly more mobile, with greater needs.  Their mom, her husband, my sons, my wife all have needs.  They place demands on my limited resources but I don’t want to just feed them or put a roof over their heads, give them some money (that’s a joke only my family will understand), or great spiritual guidance.  From the newest, least demanding, to the wife who wants all of me, I want to be “there”.

But God is.  When He says He won’t leave, it is a promise to see us, to hear our needs, to be engaged in the conversations we have. And what is vastly more amazing to me, He WANTS to be “there”.  He calls me to be “there” with Him.  He loves me more than I love Him.  His promise, the promise of His presence with me, does not overwhelm Him, bother or irritate Him.

He is my friend.

“Give Her Something to Eat”

I see the seen, the bustle and stress of the ministry, the interruption of the woman with the bleeding issue, the people that tell Jairus to not bother the teacher, the wailing, the laughter, the healing, a dead little girl walking around. There would have been confusion, awe, fear, excitement.  Mouths dropped open, hands hanging limp, eyes unblinking, hearts racing, they stood there dumbfounded.

“Guys.  She’s been laying here sick for a while, she died and is alive again.  Kind of a busy day for her.  Could you get her something to eat?  She’s really hungry.”  The broken reverie, the nervous laughter that gives way to guffaws, especially from the dad.  And somehow, I see even the angels shaking their heads as they watched.  “He did it again.  How does He do it?”

I don’t know whether you’ve ever thought about it but angels never raised anyone from the dead.  Angels never healed anyone.  Angels do not do much that is miraculous, only what causes damage – burning things, making people mute, that kind of thing – and their good messengers.

Humans, we’re different, made in God’s image we are capable and called to do things no other being can do.  We are called to do the miraculous.  Through Jesus power, and in His name, we can bring healing.  We can prophesy.  We can raise the dead by the power of God Almighty.

And, because we’re human, we can meet the practical everyday needs of people.  We can feed them, clothe them, bring them medicine, touch them, love them. . . provide. . . speak life. . .

I’m seeing a correlation here.

God and us.  God in us.  Out of all creation there is just us and Him that can and should do these things.

A high calling, a nobel ministry, a war to be one.

Don’t you think it is time to get involved?  Don’t you think it is time for Him to shine through you?

Jesus, Pay Attention

“Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings.” Matthew 24:1

Another strange portion of scripture (at least to me).  Why would the disciples need to point out the temple to Him?  Jesus had been there before, you may remember.  All I can think of is that, on this occasion, He didn’t show any evidence of being impressed, He didn’t take the time to notice His surroundings, He wasn’t paying attention.

Why?  Sure, He had some other things on His mind.  He knew that He would soon be betrayed, rejected, crucified.  Maybe, He just didn’t care.  It’s not hard to imagine that the creator of the universe would not be impressed by any building, ever.  I think He would be particularly unimpressed with a building designed and built to show off the greatness of a human king.  Perhaps He was focused on what He had seen in the temple, the money-changers, the greed that was so evident there, the mess they had made of God’s plan and will for their lives.

And His response, all that is so impressive, that you admire so much, it’s going to be destroyed.

Sometimes, all too often, I question whether Jesus is paying attention to me.  Like a spoiled child, I whine about my “needs” not being met, my wants, my dreams unfulfilled.  Does He just have other things on His mind?  Am I not important to Him?  Does He see the things that I long for as silly, frivolous, warped, wrong?  The things that I think will make such a difference, my purpose for being here, means nothing to Him.

The only problem is I know the verses that say He cares, He knows the number of hairs on my head, He sees me.  Maybe, He’s so busy saving me, protecting me, loving me, molding me, shaping me into His image, that He won’t waste time on my crying.

I doubt He’s very impressed with me, except the way a dad is impressed with everything His children do.

Yeah, I forgot about that.

dadandchild