I have a friend with the most beautifully keen eye. We can be walking in a veritable sea of junk and she’ll stoop down, pick up a dish or a piece of silver or a cup in just that perfect shade of green, and state emphatically its gorgeousness.
I’m oblivious by nature. I scan without really seeing and wait for something that pops out. It almost never does. Rather I wait for her to pronounce that I must have something and then shrug and purchase it.
She has a gift, this friend, for spotting a treasure amidst a heap of trash. She has a knack for pulling a beauty out of the rubble.
I admire her for it though I’m sure she’d shrug it off. It’s a Jesus quality though, dont’cha think?
Sure scouring for treasures in old barns is but a past time for us but not Jesus. No, this was his mission. Finding beauty in places you’d think impossible and pulling sinners out of a miry existence.
We simply dig for treasures though. He turns people into them.
I have a different friend who says the most absurd things you’ve ever heard. A text from her could involve anything from cow-share agreements to the new shoes she found that sort of resemble ones my eighth grade science teacher wore. She’s practical with a capital P and while she would shrug it off we know its true as we watch her try to convince us that comfort and foot stability are most important and wonders why we’re gobsmacked by how she’s talking about her cow as though its normal.
She speaks logic and sense and owns every statement she makes. I admire her for this and see Jesus in her – every black soled step of her way.
Because Jesus spoke plain hard truths and didn’t ever once apologize for them. He was never ridiculous and always logical and somehow I like to think he valued comfort above fashion in his choice of footwear as well.
I have a friend with the sweetest heart. She does things that I think will get her killed with nary a thought. A stranger hitchhiking up a dark mountain road? Well, clearly we need to help him. She doesn’t stop to consider her own safety but only thinks to help. She doesn’t lock her doors and zoom on by pretending not to see. No, she lets him in and takes him to where he needs to go.
I admire this in her. And I think she’s more like Jesus than I’ll ever be.
Because while I’m busy thinking about the knife in this strangers back pocket and tallying how many children he must have killed she’s thinking nothing of herself but only about how she can help a person in need.
Jesus didn’t care what anyone thought of him when he engaged in conversation with women and tax collectors. No, he only thought of how he could help. He didn’t value his own safety above that of others but rather put himself in harms way for sinners such as us.
I have a friend who packed away all she had and set off across the ocean. She laid aside the comfort of family and friends close by. She laid aside the common comforts we take for granted where we live. Things like being able to eat a dinner out or having all the kitchen utensils one could think of. Things like being able to buy ingredients to bake cookies with your children or simply having your home all to yourself. She laid aside all of these comforts for the sake of the gospel.
I admire this in her. It makes her like Jesus.
The man who had no place to rest his head, no comforts of family tradition and no kitchen with cupboards stocked to the brim. He made his way through this world, relying on the goodness of others for food and shelter, and so does she, both of them for the sake of the gospel.
I have a friend who tells the best stories. It really doesn’t matter what it’s about because when she’s telling it you want to listen. She could be recapping her day of watching paint dry or grass grow and it would be the most fantastic story you’ve ever heard. People come around when they hear her voice because they know what she has to say is going to be good.
I admire this in her. I see Jesus in her.
Because people wanted to be around him when he spoke. They came in large crowds and gathered close and there was always a buzz about who he was and what it was he had to say. People were drawn to him and he often found himself surrounded as she does.
I have a friend who gives without hesitancy to the point in which you hesitate to speak that you like anything she owns for the next thing you know she’s turning around and handing it to you and insisting that it’s now yours. It’s a gift. It’s probably better for you.
I admire this in her. She gives like Jesus.
I have a friend who serves like Jesus and another who literally washes feet like Jesus and another who tells all the children to come ’round close just like Jesus. I have a friend who speaks wisdom and truth and whatever she has to say you want to hear because your life will be better for it and I have a friend who can turn near empty cupboards into a meal in water into wine fashion. I have a friend who advocates for the broken and one who clothes the needy and another who just sits and listens no matter what sort of whirlwind is going on nearby.
These friends are beautiful, each one, though so different you could hardly find a connecting link amongst them. These women have hearts that seek one thing above all though lives that look worlds apart. These friends show me that there is no one way. There is no better gift. There isn’t you versus me but rather there is us. Each one doing their part. Each one living the life that they have been given and using their very lives to serve one greater than all of us.
I’m better for knowing each one of these. My life is fuller and richer for having them near.
They show me that sometimes we’re more different then we are alike and that’s okay. In fact, that’s good! Because the world needs each of us doing our part.
We can’t all adopt babies or move across the ocean but we can all do something. In fact, we’re all called to do something and your something is going to look different then mine and hers and there’s. But there is a connecting point and the connecting point is Jesus. When you have a heart that seeks him and listens to his very individual call for you, well, then the people around you will see Jesus in you and that, my friend, is a beautiful,beautiful thing!