Come In …

I was not expecting Him at my door. But immediately, I say, “Come in! Come in!” There is a rush of cool air, as I open my front door wider to let Him in. It’s the middle of December. If I’d known He’d be stopping by, I would have tidied up, fixed my hair, and put on a fresh pot of coffee. (But, that’s silly. He probably doesn’t drink coffee.) He steps inside, and I push the door shut behind Him, and take a step back. I am in awe of Him. I watch as He brushes the snow off the toes of His boots. The snowflakes melt at His touch. He unties the laces. I won’t ask how He knows where I live. He knows everything. He pulls each boot off, and stands them next to the wall behind the door. He’s holding a knitted pair of mittens in His hands. They’re white with little candy canes stitched at the cuffs. I stare at them only for a moment, with curiosity, but not with any kind of judgement.

The candy canes remind me that Christmas is only a few weeks away. Well, of course, I already know that – but now I’m really aware. The REASON FOR THE SEASON is standing in my front foyer. I glance quickly around my living room. I look at the tree, the Christmas tree, that is. A crocheted angel sits atop the tree, below it are hanging a few modest glass ornaments. Nothing fancy, He’ll probably be OK with that. But I doubt that He’s come to my door to critique my Christmas decorations. Thankfully, I think to myself, I have the manger scene on my mantle. For that, He will know I have not forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.

His eyes twinkle. He says nothing, but His presence is calming, like nothing I’ve ever felt before. He is light. The corners of His lips curl up in the smallest smile. It’s like He’s saying, “Relax, I’m here”. But nothing else, and He’s really said nothing at all. The only sounds in the room are in my head. Do I always talk in my head to myself in the presence of company? Crazy, no. His face reassures me that there is nothing peculiar about being in His presence and saying nothing at all.

I encourage Him to make Himself comfortable and gesture with my hands to sit on the couch. I push the pile of blankets on the couch to the side. A stray sock falls on the floor. He leans down and picks it up. Smiling still, but He doesn’t sit down. He follows me into the kitchen, where I busy myself to start the kettle. I open the drawer and rummage around for a spoon, then move over to the pantry to retrieve my tea bags. He’s already holding two cups in His hands. This would startle me if He’d been anyone else, but He is who He is. And nothing He does, causes me to feel discomfort or mistrust in this most peculiar moment.

He likes just water. Boiled. We both sit at the table, with our hot cups of water. I add a spoon of honey to mine, and He raises His hand to decline an offering of bee-sweetness in his drink. Still nothing has been audibly spoken between us. But His presence has assured me, He wants me to rest. He wants me to take a moment and empty all my cares at His feet. Then, just rest. He takes my hand in His. It’s warm. It feels sort of rough, not calloused per SE, but strong, like a carpenters hand. Like that of a man who works with His hands all day. I feel clean. I suddenly don’t notice my disheveled hair, or the dishes piled up the sink. I’m unaware of anything except His presence. It’s pure. There’s not one ounce of pain, worry, or care in this moment. There’s indescribable music in this silence sitting alone at my kitchen table with Jesus. A heavenly chorus.

A tear trickles down my cheek. He wipes it away with His thumb. The scent of His hand is like freshly cut wood. A clean scent. I’m not at all sad. Just safe. In this moment, there is no terrorism. There is no shame in my past. There is no anxiety in my future. I am completely free in my mind of worldly cares. I have no to-do list. My heart beats steadily, peacefully. We have still not spoken to one another. His presence is enough. It transcends words.

There is a sound at the front door. I get up from the table, politely excusing myself, in thought only.

The front door is slightly ajar. I push it shut, this time locking the deadbolt. It pops opens sometimes, so this will fix it.

I return to the kitchen. He is gone. My Bible sits open on the table. His cup is in the sink. My cup still sits on the table, steaming. I walk over to the Bible, to see what page He has opened it to. Almost immediately, my eyes fixate on John 14:6, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

I know this is true.

Even though He is not at my table any longer, I feel no distress. No anxiety to search for Him, or to call after Him down the street. He is here. In my heart. Beckoning me to empty myself each morning at His feet. To allow Him to fill me up with His goodness and grace. To take just take a moment, and submit all that I am and all that I carry, to Him.

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Psalm 46:5

63f2db3342a284c252e0bd4f5ea8d8b3 087044e807d66ceda835f1bd1848f044Dear Lord, with so many things on the horizon this fall, it’s easy to give into the temptation to feel despair. But, trusting that the Lord brought me this far on my journey, I have to believe that He will be in each moment, sustaining me, encouraging me, and giving me access to Him when discouragement or disappointment sets in. Thank you, God. Please forgive my doubts, and fill those empty spaces with a renewed commitment to trust and obey you, and to put Your ways (Your commandments) above my own (desires or ambitions). Don’t let me get caught up in petty competitions, or give in to frustration or anger. The responsibilities before me are heavy and require discipline and patience. But you have blessed me with them, in attempt to build my character and to serve You. Prepare my heart and guide my steps. Amen.

Easter Weekend

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Matthew 20:17-19
17 Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them,18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

Treasure Hunters

As people journey through life and accumulate more responsibility, income, possessions, and so on – does their heart grow in proportion to their wealth. When a person can afford more – is it time to give more?

Recently I had a dispute with someone. They felt ENTITLED to every dime they earned. After all, they earned it. Sharing their wealth beyond what they are forced to pay in taxes was comparable to communism, they said, adding, If poor people want more, they should go out and get more.

I am not in a position to tell anyone how often or how much to give to others. (But) I assure you – you will never ever become poor by sharing with others what was first given to you. Give generously without expectation of repayment (by the recipient or by the world). Also, don’t give so that mankind will think better of you. Throughout the Bible, we are commanded to help the less fortunate – and that is defined by where you are in life – but BELIEVE ME – there is always someone with less than you have, and he/she who is more grateful for their lesser portion.

It’s time to stop being earthly treasure hunters – share your blessings. One piece of bread can become two, but the fortunate hand has to be willing to part with 1/2 their portion.

But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
Luke 14:13

For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ Deuteronomy 15:11

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Mark 10:21

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:3-4

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40

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