Lord, if I’m supposed to risk something, make the guy look at me.
He never looked at me, but I recognized the rotten teeth, spastic eye movement and freaky paranoia. His prized possession seemed to be a stack of (what appeared to be) 100 copied missing person fliers. Something was seriously wrong in his life.
I’ve been in Indiana too long. Once upon a time, my first move would have been to approach him and get his story, risking my safety simply because I know what it is to be hopeless and lonely. Now, though, all I found myself doing was running through statistics in my head for how long it would take him to get down off whatever high he was on.
I seemed to be the only one watching him in the otherwise crowded market. For some reason, I felt anything but safe. I recognized his loneliness, though. His fear and hopelessness were old friends of mine as well.
He bolted out of the room before I could get him to focus on me long enough to get his attention. I have no idea whether or not I missed a prime opportunity to love a stranger. I have no idea if I was intended to shed some light where, instead, I added to the noise of his confused brain. I just don’t know.
Though I was later told my hesitation was wise, my heart broke for the man who seemed invisible. I wonder how differently he could have battled the war in his mind if anyone had been willing to identify with his emotions rather than judge his actions?
I just wonder – What would happen if the redeemed of the Lord were willing to see sin and say, “I remember when” rather than, “Oh, but that was never me.”
There are those who have never been able to identify grace in their own lives. What if we made grace available by making our own stories of searching for grace relatable? What if we didn’t stop at simply dangling grace over their heads?
What if we really did act like Jesus?