Pastor Brady has been doing a series on the book of Luke for the past couple months. His deliveries always help me have a deeper understanding of the passages, the story involved, and what God is trying to tell us through the message. Yesterday, the image was so real to me, that I envisioned that Jesus was sitting beside me during service.
What's really cool is that this church has over 14,000-ish members. And walking into this magnificent place, I often feel like a ladybug on an elephant. I feel so insignificant that the Sundays I'm out of town, NO ONE notices. And I dislike that aspect of church. But yesterday, the empty chair beside me was not so empty.
We were in Luke, chapter 7, reading about the Roman centurion that amazed Jesus with his humility, and the son of a widow who was raised from the dead. I could just imagine Jesus, sitting beside me saying, "Ooh, this story. That guy was amazing. A real class act.", and "I love this story; how powerful huh? I really wow'ed the crowd that day."
And yes, I do believe Jesus talks like that. Maybe in a more humble, eloquent way.
For the rest of the day, I had such an inner comfort knowing that Jesus is with me in all walks of life, on good days and bad days. I was ready to face my week knowing that I had His comfort, guidance, and help each day.
And then, I got to work on Monday morning. One of the first customers of the day asked me where our paper cups were.
"Ma'am, we normally don't have paper cups. Can I grab you a cup of coffee? I do have have our regular cups out." I said.
"No. You don't understand, that's not a paper cup." She says.
"I do understand, maybe we had some extra paper cups out last time. We're going green so we just have our white coffee cups out."
"You're telling me I have to start bringing my own coffe cup?"
Well, no, that's not even close to what I said.
This was followed by yelling and pouting and throwing of spoons. Then, the big insult, a huge smile and hug when her stylist came to greet her.
Now, I work pretty hard at being a young professional. I like to keep a good reputation and I do have integrity. But don't you dare think I didn't have my own choice words for her and a shoe in one hand that I'm pretty sure could have pummeled the back of her head. And I'm really not an angry person, I generally love people; most people. But when I'm being yelled at for a minor, reusable item that probably costs 10 cents, or when I walk up to the kitchen and the trash can is overflowing with 5-day-old veggies because no one has the gusto to take it out, or when people are complaining about insignificant problems like crumbs on a counter or having to stay at work for fifteen minutes....I tend to be more irritated than I like to admit.
And what about those times? I'll bet Jesus is beside me, too. I'll bet his thoughts of me are not amazed in good ways. It's sort of like having a best friend. We love to have them around for the good times and the victories and when we need a good shoulder to cry on. We pick spouses to take trips with and build homes with. But what we usually forget are the times behind the curtain; the times when we are at our worst, covered in anger and dripping with disdain, that aren't always the easiest to reveal.
The good news is that we can rest in the comfort of love. We can rest knowing that our best of friends and our significant others love us through the bad days. And Jesus, too, loves you despite your bad temper, angry moments, and your hurtful thoughts.
Now that you all know I'm a possible candidate for the 5th floor, and that I am a hopeless human being with plenty of faults, I'm going to make it a goal of mine to use much more grace, a lot more forgiveness, and patience for stupid people.