Originally published Thursday, 02 November 2017.
There is a homeless lady my kids love. She sits on the side of the road in a makeshift tent made out of trash bags, tarps and cardboard. Everyday, when we pass her on the way home from school, my kids scream out the window, "Hi, have a great day," as we pass by.
They know her name because one day, my daughter thought we should bring her food. She thought carrots would be nice. My son thought flowers would be a good idea too. So, we bought carrots and flowers and delivered them to her. It was then we learned she had a name.
Linda. I can't stop thinking of Linda right now. She had to leave the streets…probably by force. I hope she didn't protest. Somehow, I imagine her not wanting to desert her carts of personal belongings. I imagine her crying because that block is where she’s always lived. But if Linda didn't leave, she might be dead. Hurricane Irma planned to hit her, hard.
Linda likely perceived her stuff more valuable than her safety. And she probably didn’t think about how there was a better place for her.
We're like Linda, too. We don't want to leave "our heart stuff" behind for God's soul-calming safety.
We don't want to cling to the safety of what we know, forgetting the calm that God brings. We don't want to stay in a marginal place, missing the greater place of growth God is calling us to. This is even riskier than staying where we are. To stay on our corner, clinging to the past, our faults, insecurities or worries, hurts not only ourselves but others.
We must leave our baggage behind to pick up God’s easier yoke. There is a transaction involved in this. There is a sacrifice.
I’ve certainly learned this. I could easily go through life paying no attention to what God is prompting. Or the greater love he is calling me to, the mission he's set ahead, or the unneeded garbage he is calling me to leave behind. But I would lose so much. Everything, almost.
Left to the whimsies of Kelly Balarie, I'd be a woman in a storm who felt like she had no home. I'd be tossed to and fro, feeling powerless.
The letting go and going where God goes is safety and power. It is a powerful Christian life that permits God to decrease self, while increasing the Spirit. This woman realizes more and more she's in love with her daddy. She sees his best beyond her worst. She uncovers his faithfulness.
What is better than that? What is a more worthy pursuit? A more honorable goal?
Every time God teaches us something and inches us in a new direction, it’s not because we are doing bad, but because we are doing good and because he loves us that much. He wants our full heart within the safe place of his arms, where no harm can touch us, because -- when we let go of everything, we find him fully.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Mt. 5:5
Where is God calling you to step more fully out of your comfort zone and into his love? What if you were to believe he truly did have your best intentions in mind?
"See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps. 139:24