Wed 04 Jun
City Light: Wednesday, June 4
I am recovering from the flu today. I’m trying to rest as I stare at the mile-high laundry pile and also keep snack-time from erupting into a battleground. The ding on my phone keeps reminding me that my work emails are stacking up too. Life feels pretty busy sometimes doesn’t it?
When I take stock of my busy life and think about God’s mandate to love “the least among you,” disappointingly, I don’t seem to find any exceptions for people who are too busy. My busyness comes from really good things like making healthy snacks to share at Home Church, or checking my mortgage rates to see whether I’m spending money responsibly, or growing vegetables in my square-foot garden. I don’t think that Jesus would have a problem with any of these kinds of good activities that keep my life so full.
But I think He does have a problem when that busyness keeps me from living out His number one teaching, to love others. In fact, it’s more than just loving any random ‘others’, Jesus tells us more times to love and take care of the poor than he tells us to do anything else. He wants us to love the down-and-out, the hungry, the lonely, the rejected, the widows and orphans, and the people who just don’t have much. He seems to care extra about them and asks us to do the same.
What do I do about that? I can’t suddenly not have the flu today and not have children and not have a job. But I can choose to start having God’s eyes and heart more and more as I live life with the flu, kids and work that gets hectic sometimes.
I made a list of the places that I already go during the week because right now, while it would be hard to add time in to volunteer in a soup kitchen, I can add in two minutes to talk to the sales clerk where I buy soup bones. I started by checking out with the same cashier every week when I went to the grocery store, even if that line was longer. As the weeks went by, she morphed from “that girl with long hair” into “Joyce”, into someone I eagerly scanned the rows for because we both just enjoyed our brief conversations so much. Joyce is my favourite part of grocery shopping.
I also go to parks or play-groups occasionally. I looked around the other day and saw little groupings of parents, based on who looked like who. Two Asian parents were talking, two black parents were chatting, two ladies with head-coverings were laughing, and two older parents were hanging out. There were just a couple of people who hadn’t connected with anyone else when I walked into the room. I plopped my kids down closest to the other parent who didn’t look like me and started a conversation with her. It was amazing to see the sharing and laughter that came pouring out that afternoon. A few weeks later I ran into her again and learned that she’d been coming there every week in hopes of seeing me again to tell me how much our chat meant to her.
It turns out that I didn’t have to add more into my schedule to get to have more in my life. As I started asking Jesus to show me how to love the people who were already around me who I hadn’t noticed yet, my life became fuller and richer.
What’s your cashier’s name?
Keturah finds purpose and joy in life through making healthy food, keeping her children alive (which the toddler makes into a pretty tough job), gardening, her work as an Executive Assistant, and connecting with people who are often overlooked.