Monday, November 3, 2008

blood on the doorposts of the universe

i bought a cup of coffee for a man two nights ago at Starbucks.
i handed it to him, steaming coffee on a cold night, and
it moved from my hands to his.
my hands, smooth from little real manual labor, smooth from being protected by the elements of the outdoors, smooth from a life lived in plenty, hands that have never known whats its really like to want,
hands that are always abundantly, excessively, full.
to hands weathered by cold and heat, hands that extend to beg.
hands that i know fingered a trigger to fight in Vietnam,
hands that daily peel duct tape off a roll tucked into a backpack to mend his eclectic wardrobe.
hands that pick at a broken guitar.
his name is Todd, and he is homeless.

i dont know that what i did was right. i know full well that Todd is capable, and indeed, should get a real job and stop begging on the streets. i know that much of what he does with the money he gets is spend it on alcohol and cigarettes.
but i also know that in that moment, all i knew was the movement of mercy that stirred in me as i slid my card across the counter and ordered a second latte.
he needed that coffee. and i needed a reminder that i am not my own.


i have been reading the new rob bell book, 'Jesus wants to Save Christians'.
i am going to be honest, i am on the fence about rob bell. his writings have changed my life, in that i have been awakened to the state of the Church as a whole, my role as a Christian, and how that looks like, to Love, to extend grace, to live out the words coming from my mouth.what does that look like?

numerous situations have arisen this week that have challenged me to rethink how i view Love.
was it loving for me to buy a coffee for him? maybe. rob bell says that there is blood on the doorposts of the universe. as i stepped into starbucks that night, a child died in Africa. as i slid my plastic money across the counter, a little girl wept in Ethiopia. as i jammed my key into the ignition of my Taurus, a little boy woke to captivity in Mali. What am i doing about it?

where is Love, where does Jesus show up in situations like that?
what difference am i making?

i heard a great speaker at the last show i worked publicity for, and he said "If you woke up this morning, in a bed, with food and a dollar in your wallet, you are in the top 1% of the world."

the top 1%.

he said "Jesus has put us at the front of the line, and asks us "What will you do with this now?"
i was talking to a friend the other night, and was so frustrated with myself for caring so much. i get so passionate about poverty and hunger and abuse, and i still live my life exactly the same.
i guess what i want is a heaviness that i am justified in caring. I want God to move me so i dont forget that i am not my own, that caring is something He has placed in me. I want a heart humbled and moved to mercy. I want hands that will scrub the blood from just one doorpost. i want theburden of loving the world.

3 comments:

John said...

Grace, I am continuously blown away by what you have to say. You make an interesting point about the extreme juxtaposition of poverty and wealth.

Momma Bug said...

Thanks Miss Grace.

Don't ever forget that it was blood on a doorpost that represented salvation through a lamb.

THE Lamb.

I think it might be good for us to see that blood once in a while.

Love you,
Analene

open road coffee company said...

Greetings Grace, I am a co-founder of a new ministry called the Definition Collective that seeks to provide a safe place for discussion and examination of the scriptures, I stumbled across your blog and was so happy to see that there are others within the "christian" community that are willing to seek out true justice and love for the marginalized and oppressed. I would love to share with our community your post, if thats alright. What a beautiful picture of the love of Christ in action and humility. Keep up the great posts and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts!

Godspeed
-erik ewing