"Good afternoon! I saw your Jesus fish & felt led to leave you this note. I hope you don't feel too awkward that I left it. :-) I'd like to ask that you please pray for my husband R--- and our 12 y.o. son L--- (most especially) and myself. We've been battling the enemy through the past 9 months of an unusually high degree of tribulation: physical disabilities, illness, pain, and catastrophic financial hardship. While we persevere in holding fast to our faith, we trust in the perfect will of our Master. Please pray that the homelessness resulting from these trials ends before Christmas and that our son recovers swiftly. Thank you so very much! Peace and blessings, M---"
Can you even read this and not cry?
If I had any way of contacting her, I would do something. I will do what she asked, which is to pray. Will you join me, not only for her family, but for others in need this holiday season and year round?
The Jesus Poem
Jesus, we have lost you, not even seeking, thus not finding
Maybe especially this season in the fancies and parties -- but
It is so easy to decry these, to point the fingers,
To insist that clerks greet us properly with "Merry CHRISTmas!"
instead of "Happy Holidays."
In our religious circles we find sacred systems, rigid rules,
Theological Thou-Shalt-Nots that THOU hast not said
In our religious circles we put God in a box and wrap it fancy and tight
Yet drawn into your circle, do we not find
plain liberty and lavish love instead?
If we are looking for you, we must go to the end of the line,
(Which is the beginning, since the last will be first)
We will find you walking among those who mourn,
With the poor, the prisoner, the outcast, the trafficked child.
You are the Physician who came to seek the sick, not the healthy.
You make house calls, or for those who have no homes
(As you did not), the alleyway will do.
You are the Savior to the lost sheep, to the prodigal son.
We are here and now your hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth
Let us go and look and love and pray and give and serve and set free
May we see your face as we follow your way
May we find you and, empty as we are, be filled.
I write an Advent poem every year. This 2012 offering is reminiscent of 2007's: Corpus Christi (Body of Christ). You may also like The Paradox.
My daughter Julia and her husband Alex are such a good examples to me. As they did two years ago, they are organizing a homeless outreach for January. They are taking a team of Jesus-lovers to downtown Orlando to pass around blankets, sleeping bags, warm jackets, scarves, socks, toiletries, snack bags, Gospel of John booklets and fresh baked goods. I've been hoping to put together first aid kits; fortunately, our dear friend Mark, who sells first aid supplies, just sent us a big box of stuff to help. I've also been cleaning out the winter bins in our storage room, gathering up blankets and coats and tote bags that we don't really need. I also found some fancier clothes (passed on to us from a neighbor) that won't be suitable for the homeless, but could be sold at a consignment shop to fund this outreach, too. It's worth the effort.
If you live in the area and want to participate, either by giving or going, please let me know and I will send you times and locations. (See also my posts Gathering Gifts for the Poor and Homeless.)
And if you want to get a clear picture of who Jesus really was and still is, read the Gospels. You can start with the book of John.
Grace and peace,
P.S. You might also like to listen to Brandon Heath's song "Give Me Your Eyes".
P.P.S. I'm not much of one for putting religious symbols on vehicles, but our van, purchased from friends at our old church, already had the Jesus fish on the back. I'm glad about that now. :-)
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