More and more it has been my joy to mix and mingle with folks out on the streets here in Merced, CA. I’ve also been able to meet day-to-day folks here in this town as well as people of high status and/or income from around California. It’s been really interesting to find something in common with basically everyone I’ve been able to get to a heart-level conversation with in a given week. We all want to be known and we want to know others in a sweet and refreshing way as opposed to being judged or picked apart or evaluated; no one wants to be picked apart and no one wants to do the pick apart of others if pressed for their true hope for their relationships. God knows us perfectly and thoroughly. And, part of how He does this is making His presence known to a hurting world through His children, all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and purification and eternal rest.
God knows us and shows that knowledge through others in our lives and through our lives in the lives of others. There is an integration of wills and hopes, ambitions and dreams, concerns and complaints. We can’t dodge one another if we want to see anything positive happening in the world around us.
This is where God seems to show up the most often in the believer’s life, when he or she is submitted to His good pleasures found in healthy relationship-building between ourselves and those around us as God’s children. The more we put our guard down and show some friendship and genuine concern, the more we discover an affection for God being demonstrated by affection for our own persons. There is nothing wrong with showing so much affection to others that they begin to reciprocate and show affection back our way. Jesus Himself demonstrated this kind of reckless grace in His lavishing His divine presence in a humble human body being present to be near and gentle with the most low and despised members of society.
The lower we go, thinking we’re just “doing our good deed for the day,” the more we feel the breath of God on our necks in the midst of our sweaty labors of love. He shows up and reminds us that, at the heart level, we are probably just as low and possibly even lower at times. Our comforts and wealth and good looks and smooth manner can blind us, friends, from knowing how needy we really are for the Good Shepherd to minister to our deepest hurts and those of those we encounter day to day.
Much love, friends.