I wanted to reflect something amazing.
I wanted to live something noble.
I wanted the Divine to invade in such a way that we all stood in awe of His glory.
But then the kids got up whining.
They fought through breakfast and one wiped his snotty nose on the couch and we stumbled out the door late and I had to take Little Bit to the doctor.
It was rush hour and we literally squished ourselves onto a subway that was packed like sardines with people who had bad breath and B.O.
And when we got to the hospital to have blood drawn, we entered this open air hall crowded with nearly 1,000 people… all of them there to have blood drawn.
It was hot and stuffy and there were no chairs and the wait was long. And that ache for glory, for something noble and worthy, it seemed to slip away, further and further beyond reach.
I could feel the slipping, the slow death, the faith and hope being wrung right out of me by a thief I couldn’t even see.
And I wondered what a person is to do when life has starved her of what really matters. How does she regain faith when it’s been lost? How does a hope-deprived heart regain its health? How does a perishing woman apprehend her life line, that glimpse of Glory, before it’s too late?
And I’m standing in that huge outdoor hall, waiting our turn for the needle, when the woman beside me asks about my Little Bit. “Her parents didn’t want her?” she asks. “Was she abandoned?”
I wince at such a cruel question, like I’d been elbowed in the gut. Because I am her mother. We are her parents. But it was asked in ignorance, so I overlook the words and speak to the heart of this woman. “My Little Bit was left in a cardboard box the day she was born. But we are her family now.”
We chat a few minutes more. I want it to be enough. I want to go back to just waiting, go back to being numb. I want to retreat into my shell of no- risk living. Hoping for Glory is just too painful. It makes the heart ache.
I know this is an opportunity for me to share the good news of Jesus. On the one hand, I want to hope for Glory. I want to live the Christ- life. On the other, I just feel so tired. I’ve done this so many times before, it all seems canned, mechanical, so… futile.
But the prompting inside, that internal force, the tidal wave of hope… it’s like He’s laid His hand on me and I cannot help but speak up.
So I do.
I can’t say that my heart is totally in it. I’m not full of faith that something miraculous will happen as I open my mouth. I just… simply… begin.
“I’m a Christian,” I tell her. “We adopted because adoption is what God does for us. He brings us who are without hope into His family.”
And no sooner do the words leave my mouth than the lady beside me flails her arms and reaches for her purse. She’s a crazy woman, digging deep in the bowels of her bag. She comes up with a pack of tissues just in time. She bursts into tears.
“I’m a Christian too,” she sputters, dabbing madly at her eyes. “Just haven’t been to church in a very long time.”
And I’m shocked. You don’t meet Christians like this here. Not in this country, not in a hot, crowded, smelly hallway where you are just one anonymous person. I voice a few more words, awkward and tentative. I don’t know where to go with this. I’m listening for His prompting to direct my words, guide my speech.
The life of Christ fills me then and I do know. I know why we’re here, why years ago we left father and mother on the other side of the world. I know why we squeezed into a subway that morning and stood lost in a crowd of a thousand. I know. It’s so we could stand next to this one woman and be the Father’s voice– her Father’s voice- to her. “You are very special,” I tell her. And I’m really just relaying a message from our Daddy.
“There is something He wants you to do, some way you can serve, and no one else can do it. He’s prepared you for it and He’s given you this ministry. He has tailor made you for this job.”
Tears are dripping down her cheeks and her heart is soaking up words that are not mine. We are two crazy ladies crying in public. Everyone around us stares and I’ve a mind to let them in on the joyous secret:
God draws lambs into His fold. He restores hope to His people.
We all like big shindigs. We want church planting movements, big followings, best sellers, and we don’t want to settle for anything less than A.W.E.S.O.M.E.
I get that.
But God whispers to our child-like hearts, “Don’t ever despise the day of small things.”
The Lord rejoices in the small beginnings… and He is a God who leaves the ninety and nine for the one.
And sometimes you can know it at the strangest of times, like in the midst of a very ordinary day when your kid smears snot on the sofa and you feel your inadequacies and you are standing next to someone with body odor. You can know that in spite of everything that’s wrong with you, God has given you the ministry of reconciliation.
You can know He’s made you alive in Christ.
“I come as one who desires, who seeks, to be prepared to live out the life of Christ today on earth, to translate His hidden heavenly glory into the language of daily life, with its dispositions and His duties.
As I think of all my failures in fulfilling God’s will, as I look forward to all the temptations and dangers that await me, as I feel my entire insufficiency and yet say to God- “I come to claim the life hid in Christ, that I may live the life for Christ;” I feel urged and drawn not to be content without the quiet assurance that God will go with me and bless me.
May I indeed expect to live the life hid with Christ in God, so as to make it manifest in my mortal body? I may. For it is God Himself will work it in me by the Holy Spirit dwelling in me. The same God who raised Christ from the dead, and then set Him at His right hand, has raised me with Him and given me the Spirit of the glory of His Son in my heart.
Believe what God says about you. Accept what God has bestowed upon you in Christ. Take time before God to know it and say it. The life of every day depends on it.”
Andrew Murray, The Master’s Indwelling