Monday, January 14, 2013

The day I closed the door in Jesus' face

It was in the weeks before Christmas.
It was suppertime. The time when many door-to-door folks like to make their visits!
I'd had a hard time wrangling up everyone for supper. And to think, we tend to eat later than the average folk, so you'd think that hunger would be a motivation!! Apparently not always ;P.
I was tired and frustrated, and when the door bell rang, I moaned. I groaned out loud!

WHAT NOW?? I thought.

The dog going crazy, the kids hootin' and hollarin', I slid off my chair and made my way to the front door. I opened it and sighed inwardly. Sales person. Great.

Did the look of annoyance show on my face?? I'm pretty sure it came close.
If not, I'm fairly confident the one hand on my hip gave it away.

"Ma'am, would you have any money to spare...." he began tentatively.
He started to show me something. A brochure maybe?? Not sure.
Turns out he was from Lighthouse Mission, goin' door to door asking for donations.
We just happened to be on his route that night.

I wasn't interested in anything in the brochures.

"Would you consider a smaller donation? Anything? Any amount helps." He tried again.
Helps to feed the homeless.
Helps to minister to the hurting.
Helps to spread God's love and mercy and grace through servant hands and feet.

In that nano-second, I thought of all the ways in which we "gave" recently.
We enjoy giving, we really do. And we appreciate participating in Operation Christmas Child, our church's Advent Challenge, as well as many other opportunities of the season.

However, in that moment, I didn't feel like going to get looking for my wallet.
I didn't feel like taking any more time from this particularly rowdy supper hour.
We had places we needed to be and kids fed and readied, and simply I "didn't have time for this."
I didn't want the inconvenience.
I just didn't feel like it.

How awful.

As I was closing the door, I noticed the man had brown eyes.
Jesus eyes.
Click went the door.
And a flicker went through my heart.

Hadn't I been praying for opportunities like this? 
Seeing Jesus in the every day life, responding {quickly} with a worship-filled heart?

I would love to say that I opened the door and ran after him, humbled heart in hand.
But I didn't.
I would love to say that I gave generously in that moment.
But I can't.
I shut the door in Jesus' face.
Just. like. that.

How awful.

How many times have these simple gratitudes passed me by?
How many times have I been "too busy," "too lazy," "to apathetic" to stop and care?
It's not about the money; it's not about "giving."
It's about dignity and care and saying, "hey - we're on the same team, this serving the God we love, and I support what you are doing."
Here's a love offering, wrapped in prayer.

Sometimes Often I get caught up in the discouragement that I have not embraced this Christ-Lived-Example like I could; like I want to, like I need to. I miss opportunities. And I completely blow others. In the midst of this, I am trying to remember to pray for the grace to try again, to remember again, to love again.

I am so sorry, Man from the Lighthouse Mission.
I am ashamed of my response to you, to the passion it took for you to wander around on a cold December night, asking people to assist you in this ministry.
Please. Come back again.


Chantelle - ThousandSquareFeet said...

Isn't it so wonderful that Jesus is full of second and third and fourth chances? You will get another chance and you will be ready! :)

Roo said...

oh friend...i can relate. i had an experience a few years...several years ago...i was at the forks...i was hungry...and i had just enough to buy this wrap....i was just sitting down to eat it when...tap, tap, tap....i look over and theres this homeless man tapping me on the shoulder. He looks at m, looks at my wrap....and says, "i'm hungry".....i cringe when i think about this story. anyway, long story short -- i missed it. i missed a huge opportunity because all i could think about was what i wanted in that moment. as long as our hearts grow soft (instead of hard) through these learning experiences, we can become wiser, sharper and more in tune so when Jesus knocks again, we will remember and obey. love you!


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