(Original date: May 6, 2015)
By Mama J
"Miss Jessie, I have pokey thangs in my shoes! OUCH!" "Can you help me get these out?"
He came into the kitchen and took off his shoes. They were covered in some sort of prickly pieces of lawn, inside and out. I was a bit scatter-brained and had been dealing with some discipline issues with other kids and wasn't feeling very well. But when Hector walked in yesterday, like one of my sons, I bent down and Jesus met me on the kitchen floor. I stopped. I started taking the prickles out of those little black shoes and started saying "I love you Jesus, I really do..." I looked down and saw little fatherless feet. Little feet with sister's socks on, probably for lack of clothing or clean laundry. Feet that used to run up to me at age 3, now going places they shouldn't have to go and about 5 years older. I love this boy and I love the Jesus that was shining through him. I needed that moment as much as Hector did. It's not the big things that count the most. "Outreach" is not an event or a program. Worship is not always "corporate." A life truly lived for Jesus is made up of snapshots into his heart and real connections with His most prized possessions. Children. The poor. The broken. The lonely. The "sinner." When He said "Love your neighbor," He meant love your neighbor...that means we must be willing to be in relationship with people, over and over again. To be close enough to call them neighbor, and in so doing, know them well enough to truly love them. The reason most people do not really love the poor is because they don't know them. The reason most people don't really love the Lord the way He commanded us to, is because they don't really know Him. To the degree we abide in Jesus, we will see Him in the face of the one and abide with Him in those moments too. The two greatest commandments flow in natural order and are inseparable. I spent time worshipping Jesus yesterday and loving Him with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. Naturally, when I stooped down to help my little "neighbor," I loved him too. It was an overflow of my love for God.
We look for God to show up in grand ways or through impressive people. But Have we forgotten the real Jesus who came in the form of a poor baby, born in a stable? The one who grew up to walk the streets giving his time and love to hundreds of needy people, eating with prostitutes and drunks? The Jesus who said He had no place to lay his head...the Messiah who said "When you receive a child in my name you receive Me..." Our Lord paraded through town on a donkey and died on a cross, innocent.
When John the Baptist spoke of Jesus, he said he was not even worthy to untie His sandals. (See John 1) This sounds familiar! What a privilege to untie those little shoes in the kitchen, with Jesus standing right in front of me...