What would we do if we had the time to do whatever we wanted? It’s funny how quickly we qualify our answers with limitations. “If I had more money, I would…” “If my health was better, I would…” “If I had a college degree, I would…” “If I (fill in the blank), I would…” Knowing the limitations in our lives, and knowing the gifts and blessings in our lives, what would we do with more time?
When we look at other people, we also rarely see the whole picture. This is true both when we are comparing our lives with others, and when we are judging other people. While I was pastoring a church in Alaska, I remember a couple asking, “Why are we the only ones who have problems?” At first I thought they were joking. They weren’t joking. They seemed surprised when I told them everyone has problems (then they left the church). It’s easy for us to miss the struggles other people are dealing with. It is best for us to be slow to compare, and even slower to judge!
One of the most striking things I’ve learned about Jesus is how he could see the “invisible people”. Story after story in the Bible tells us how Jesus saw all people. A favorite for me is the healing of the ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19). No matter their previous stations in life, lepers became invisible. It was a death sentence with no cure. Jesus, however, saw them. As followers of Christ, who do we see? Are we able to see all people?
The murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the hate crime causing George Floyd’s horrific death have brought our nation and our church to a tipping place. The Appointive Cabinet denounces the sin of systemic racism and commits to taking action to end a culture of white privilege in our society and in our church.
As of today, I’m exactly three weeks away from retirement. It’s kind of hard to get my head around this. What a strange year to be retiring! I’m humbled by the kind words people have been sharing with me. Yesterday I received a gift I knew was being sent to me. It is a print by one of my favorite artists, James Christensen.