What the World Needs Now
Well, when life hands you a shit show,
the only thing to do is
find Jesus in the world.
find and share the moments that answer
"What would Jesus do?"
"What would Jesus do?"
and of course the answer is either
hold someone's hand in kindness
turn over a table in disgust.
It's hard right now to find these moments
but they do exist.
However, I'm going to start at the beginning.
It was in 2016 while writing a sermon
that I said to myself, "the world needs more Jesus".
If you've read Alphabet of Faith, you know I say that A LOT in the book.
Well, this story is from 2016, and I came across it again when looking through past sermons.
I shared this story with my congregation on the first Sunday of 2017 --
part of the idea of what it means to be a star shining light into the world.
So this story has nothing to do with a virus or a pandemic or protests (yay!) and is a story about being brave in the name of love, and how love can make a difference.
This incident was witnessed by a man who shared it in a Facebook post. I have the original story, and the man's name, but for this post, I'll just share, in my own words, what he witnessed while riding the SkyTrain in Vancouver one afternoon:
A man riding the SkyTrain was not having a good day – he likely struggled with addiction and/or a mental health issue. Apparently, he was over six feet tall so a big lad.
He was cursing and shouting and acting aggressively
and making the other riders on the train anxious and afraid.
An older woman was sitting near him, a woman in her seventies.
She reached out to him and took his hand.
You read that right: She reached out and took his hand.
She held his hand as he calmed down. And as he calmed, he began to cry.
She was afraid but she still acted.
She was unsure how her gesture would be received,
but she offered it anyway.
How many of us would think of doing that, in our fear?
How many of us would think of it but still not do it?
Me -- here I am, with my hand up.
That woman offered that man in distress the love he needed, the love he is entitled to,
regardless of how he was behaving.
Her simple offering – of her touch, of her spirit – calmed him.
As he left the train, he said, “Thank you, Grandma.”
So an older woman took the hand of a man in distress and held him until he was better but that reminds us that it doesn't matter what we look like on the outside or how we appear to others -- how we are acting -- inside, we are the same energy. And that energy is love.
Like I said on Sunday, sometimes that one hand that is holding ours is the only thing holding us together.
And I'm crying again as I write this because I love this story so much. Because I cry whenever I find a story about someone "being Jesus" in the world -- being brave and loving no matter what.
Because I'm not brave but I want to be. I'm not using my voice but I want to. I'm not sharing my energy but I want to.
The world needs more Jesus -- more people like this woman. They are out there.
Whenever I find them, I'll share them.
(the SkyTrain photo is simply from a search of photos from 2016 in the internet)