It was like most any other day, with a to-do list a mile long. Lunch and naptimes come so quickly in daily routines with little ones, and I’m often in a rush to complete my errand-running early on to prevent any unnecessary meltdowns.
Ah yes, we moms are all too familiar with that meltdown window, aren’t we? Heh.
The last item on my list made it’s way into my shopping cart, and I speed-walked to the check-out, feeling that familiar window coming to a close. Always in a hurry, it seems. My mind continually checking off tasks, then quickly planning for the next thing. And plan in my head I did, as I waited not-so-patiently in line for it to be our turn.
The check-out lady had had one of those days, I could tell. While I preferred to stick to small-talk to ensure greater efficiency through the line, my girl, in true four- year-old fashion, didn’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with our worn-looking cashier. Unlike me, the department store employee didn’t seem to be in a hurry that day. Instead, her slow moving hands and sad eyes spoke of a heaviness in her heart.
I decided to really mean it when I asked her how she was doing, and she began to cry as she told me that she buried her mom the day before after an unexpected turn of events. I grabbed her hand, comforted her the best I could in the moment available to us, and assured her that I really would pray for her. And I meant it.
And God stopped me in my hurried tracks.
People are hurting. And shame on me for being wrapped up in my own agenda so often that I miss out on more opportunities just like this one.
In our Luke 4 reading this week, I was struck by the fact that Jesus began in the synagogue, reading these words from Isaiah to the people of his familiar hometown:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has
anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
But continuing in the chapter, Jesus’ demographics quickly changed. He did more than just read about His ministry. He lived it.
Jesus made a habit of not lingering long in the synagogue or in the familiar, but instead wasted no time in finding His way out onto the streets and into the lives of the broken.
Fast-forward a couple thousand years or so, and we find ourselves in a culture that prefers clean-cut independence and familiarity. We’re far too attracted to the beautiful, the successful, and to those inside the comfort of our own church walls. The lower maintenance the better, because frankly, we have agendas to keep.
Living Like Jesus can get messy. It’s a bold step into the unpredictable, and maybe even not so popular to some. It means not getting so comfortable in our safe places, content in soaking up the Gospel only for ourselves, that we forget to reach out to those less-than-neatly-packaged outside of our church walls. It’s rubbing shoulders with the hurting and the lost, so that they might find Hope in more than what this world has to offer. It’s being so changed because of Jesus, that we willingly and often put aside our own to-do lists long enough to look through His eyes to seek out the broken all around us.
If we want to truly Live Like Jesus, we need to step out of our “synagogues” of schedules and selfishness, and step onto the streets… to love the broken in need of a Savior.
Not sure where to start? Trust me, if you slow down long enough and ask Jesus to give you His eyes… you won’t have to look far.
“Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon.” ~Luke 4:38
At His feet,