In the Ragamuffin Gospel, I was hung up on how God could pursue us individually. Then I read an analogy that C.S. Lewis used that helped it fall into place-a book’s characters, and its author. The book(creation) is in its own timeline while the author(God) is outside of it, personally giving their attention to every part of it. A simple task for a creator who is outside of time itself.
He is involved in other ways as well. In my daily reading during the Immediate Obedience challenge, I read a verse in Romans that called for the saved to make themselves a living sacrifice.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12: 1 NIV
The chapter goes on about putting others first and serving others. It sounds weak, doesn’t it? Then I thought about what firefighters, EMTs, soldiers, and cops do every day. Weak was not the right word to use. It can go from dying for another to something as simple as just caring about another person’s day.
I remember a woman with a Mohawk who recently came to church and sat with the Latinos; it was the first time I ever saw her and she looked really stressed and angry. During the altar call, she sobbed with a prayer pastor for close to ten minutes. Another girl that had her own need came up and loved on her, hugged her, and prayed with her off to the side. Then she went to the prayer pastor herself when they were done. She came back that night, Mohawk up, with a lighter step and was talking to everyone. During the worship part of the service, she was the first one to stand up, followed by a recovering alcoholic, both with their arms raised. I looked at them with a quiet smile thinking that ragamuffins do not take God’s second and third chances lightly. I don’t, and in that moment, I understood His love a little more. (Update: Her name is Carrie and she was baptized 1-25-15)
While in Oklahoma, we stopped at a store and, as usual, that store chain’s card reader hated our debit card. While I was waiting in the car, my wife text me to come in; I got out just as she walked out with her bags and a story. She told me about a guy and his wife who just bought her stuff for her when the reader did not take the card. We told her grandma, who called her friend who works there. She heard the man tell his wife of his intent to pay. No one knows who they were, and it is a small town. It was grace in action; the divine gift-love I wrote about last week.
I am reminded to be ‘a light’ like the above, though it is hard at times, especially when cranky and tired. Offer a helping hand, show interest in others letting them know they matter, or just banter with people. Life is serious enough on its own without adding to it. Even calling someone by their name, taking the time to learn or at least read the nametag could be the highlight of their day.