Thursday, July 6, 2023
Standing Beside Us,
The Whole Time!
Of David. To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
Zacchaeus was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.
Words of Grace For Today
With all of our expectations of others, of how we should be able to progress through a day, a week, a year, a life, it is too common that we come up short. Of course we come up short when others measure us or we measure ourselves compared to others. (That’s how we pretend that we are better than others, others who are ‘shorter’ at life than us.) The real challenge is when we come up short according to our own measure.
That can bring on our old friend the blues very quickly, and that trusty friend can settle in for an extended stay, even sleeping on our bed because we cannot sleep well at all.
We all try to compensate, somehow or another. Some pretend to be real intelligent, some very wealthy, some very privileged, some very powerful, some from real old blood –
which reminds me of the guy who showed up to camp. Everything he tried turned out poorly. He couldn’t get a place to rent. Landlords kept renting out any room he showed interest in before he could come up with the first months’ rent. He had a truck. On the truck he had a camper, given to him, laden with black mould that he started to rip apart to get at the mould and get rid of it. Before he got very far the police came and told him he was camping illegally and he had to move somewhere else. But, and this came in a conversation after he told me of all his failings, he asked me how long I had lived here. I said five years, meaning this camp place. He proudly said he was bred and born in Cold Lake.
It didn’t matter that we were standing 25 kilometres from Cold Lake, but this he had done better at than me. That made him worth something! I was a ‘newbie’ and he belonged here … until the police told him to move. –
It really doesn’t matter how we try to pretend to be better at life and in life than we really are, making such claims always makes us look just a tad foolish (well under it all we are through and through fools.)
Like David we may fear being put to shame by our enemies, but like David we often put ourselves in shame faster and more thoroughly than any enemy could. So we cry with David, O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me …
to which we add: save us, most of all, from ourselves.
Like Zacchaeus we may have tried to gather as much money and power as we can (at other’s expense) but we know there is more to life than these empty things we fill our lives with.
We want to see Jesus, the healer, the teacher, the one they say is the Son of God.
We don’t have to climb any trees.
Jesus walks here.
At least Jesus walks here with me wherever I go, even when it’s into a hell of a mess. And Jesus walks with me, guiding me and sometimes carrying me out the other side back into the light.
We may come up short, but we are never too short to see Jesus walking with us. Sometimes we need a saint or two or thousands to show us, but there Jesus is, pulling us out of our self made shame again, back into life where we can breathe and laugh and sing and dance … and share God’s blessings with others. Our only real ‘claim to fame’ is that we were born and bred here, we belong here …
with Jesus in God’s Kingdom. (But that’s not our doing. God chooses that for us!)