Today when the morning comes, I feel the weight of the next 36 days all resting on my shoulders. I drag myself to the shower and again to the coffee pot and then again to the laundry room where loads and loads wait for me. My heart orders the words that followed me to sleep late last night and I’m grateful to remember the thoughts I should have jotted down on paper. I let the words work themselves out over the folding of t-shirts and the matching of socks and I wonder how the words will sound when spoken aloud.
Will Jesus stand between me and them and move the words around in midair, making my offering something beautiful for the building up of the kingdom here on earth?
I serve the girls bagels and cream cheese and I stir creamer into one more cup of coffee. We work our letters and numbers and the last Harris baby has a meltdown because her letter G looks like a letter O with a broken line and I bite my lip, willing the minutes to pass quickly. An hour passes and I watch the wind through the front window beat the tree limbs against the power lines and the nagging feeling that won’t leave me forces me to push the pen across paper until the feeling passes.
The words that come are the ones that have been stirring up angst in the pit of my belly for weeks now and these words that now come as questions, are the ones I’ve been quietly pushing back down.
Because we are in this together, these words that come as questions are the words I leave for you here:
How many times must we pray for revival before the redeemed of Jesus wake up and know that it is through obedience to Jesus’ command to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbors as ourselves that we experience the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit in our places?
How many prayer walks and calls to prayer must one people rally the masses to before we posture ourselves before our neighbors like Jesus postured Himself before His disciples?
How many times must we fall on our faces in repentance for the sins of those who have gone before us before we rise up and take the land that Jesus is giving us to make His name great?
How long must we wallow in our own confession of sins before we realize that Jesus does not hold our sins against us, nor does He hold the sins of the world against her?
How many missions trips overseas must we take before we see the people in our own communities who are without the hope of Jesus?
How many dollars and programs and gimmicks does it take for us to understand that all the money in the world cannot replace the person of Jesus in each of us in the lives of our neighbors?
How long must we lament the loss of our culture and cry out to Jesus to save us from ourselves when we have chosen fearful disobedience over courageous conviction to love others well?
How many years must we wait on Jesus to revive our cities before we tangibly feel His very breath in us and realize that it is through the Holy Spirit in us that revival comes?
We are the hands and feet of Jesus, filled up with the Holy Spirit in order to do even greater works than Jesus, and we are failing our neighbors because we can’t seem to stop gathering together long enough to be the Light at street level.
Don’t mishear me.
Repentance is necessary.
Calling on Jesus is necessary.
And quite often, waiting is necessary.
But I think that if we’re not careful, we can get so caught up in being a part of the beautiful picture of the redeemed gathering to call on Jesus to forgive us and revive our cities, that we forget that Jesus has redeemed us to be agents of redemption on this earth.
Our faith should make us adventurous.
It should make us dangerous to the kingdom of darkness.
Our trust in Jesus as the only way to God should unleash a fury in us so wild and unruly that we approach the throne of grace with such boldness that confessing our sins only serves to embolden us to live with more fervor among those who have not yet experienced forgiveness of sin.
Our presence in our places matters to Jesus.
He has strategically placed us right where He wants us.
May we choose to dwell there and be the Love that walks among our neighbors.