Where do you see Jesus in the purest form? When your spirit looks up with stars in its eyes, wide awake and more alive than ever…what makes your heart scream and cry and your flesh feel as though it’s tearing at its seams? That’s a question I’ve been scared to answer lately because with knowledge comes responsibility. So when I seek the answer to that question I must take responsibility to live that “thing” out. I must choose to break from the walls of comfort I find myself worshipping in.
This Sunday during our service we sang an old song that I generally cringe at because I have honestly sang its depth away. The words “When the music fades and all is swept away and I simply come longing just to bring something that’s of worth that will bless Your heart…” have meant so little for so long until this week. The Spirit touched those words and brought them to reality. And maybe that’s when responsibility comes in…the moment the Lord, himself, comes down and opens our eyes…either way, I have to be honest with my Lord and with my heart. My worship has been only when I find it convenient and as a great friend wrote in her blog, “I gave up convenience to follow Christ…” or something of equal power. I just hadn’t grasped that to the fullest and still have a ways to go. But the Lord has been pushing so deep on my heart to go deeper into His that I cannot ignore that my current life does not allow me to go deeper. My current fear of man hinders the depths my dried arteries long to reach, because only there is the true life I know the Lord has for me. Only there can I truly live to glorify my King.
So…where do my spirit’s eyes shine like stars? I think it’s more so about who I am with. Only when I am surrounded by the dirtiest and broken, the hungry and poor do I see clearly the shining face of Jesus. I’ve fought this for so long but this morning as I read the fore-mentioned blog I was forced to look back and see what I’ve been missing all along, what fear has kept me from. There were 2 specific scenarios that leaped to the forefront of my mind and they were both in the midst of the homeless and hungry. Both swept me off my feet and made me fall so deeply in love with my Lord that I don’t know how I ever turned back.
The first was in a food pantry/soup kitchen while I was in YWAM a few years back. I was quite literally swept off my feet in this one, as a dirty and quite smelly old gentleman in his torn suit coat twirled each of us girls around the cafeteria floor. His smile is ingrained in my mind forever. He was the perfect dance partner and had the sweetest of hearts. I might as well have been dancing with Jesus Himself in that moment.
The other was an unexpected prayer in the midst of the “homeless park” (or that’s what I would call it because that is where the homeless quite literally found their home) in Denver. We were on a local outreach and had found ourselves playing music and hanging out with whoever would stop by. First we had a local college student join us, One who had been broken and burned by the religion some refer to as Christianity. We had community with him as we all had been burned at one point but all loved the same God. They must have been watching and waiting for just one person to join because just a minute after he joined in on our “jam session” we had a small crowd. Possibly the dirtiest crowd of people I’ve ever seen but boy did they shine. All of us so different but so similar…different life experience but all dirty and broken. We sang and talked and laughed and some cried. Some watched from afar and others quickly violated the bubble of our personal space. It probably looked odd from the outside but I think it was a glimpse of Heaven, all of us different but all working and moving as one. As we ended our time of fellowship we asked if anyone wanted prayer before we made our way back to our home…and that’s when it happened. That’s when my heart was broken to the depths like it hadn’t before…did they want prayer? Yes, of course they wanted to know and hear that Someone loved them, Someone cares, Someone is watching over them…but what I didn’t expect was their prayers for us. Through their slurred words, their skewed theology, and loud shouts I received the most beautiful blessing I’ve ever known.
As the Lord reminds me of these life-changing moments I wonder how I closed my eyes to them, how I shut my heart off for so long. Maybe because after those nights I went back to my warm bed, ate my food, and stood between 4 walls raising my hands in thanksgiving for material blessings while they went back to their urine-soaked stoops, covered up in their tattered belongings, and drank their hearts content. In this heart-breaking moment I’m realizing those situations are no different. My drunkenness may not come from the bottle and my homelessness may not be without a roof but I have found myself lost and out of control of my desire for comfort. I let my heart sink into my comfy pillow while my spirit wept in the dirt.
My friends, I urge you to know where you see Jesus the clearest and to chase Him. Do not let the temptations of convenience and the 4 walls of a building hold you into the binds of religion but be released to love without boundaries and let the Spirit break your heart for what breaks His. We are not bound to anything but made One with the blood of Christ, we are free and have new eyes to see what He sees, let us not forget that we have been made to glorify the Lord with every part of our being.