Wednesday, March 21, 2012

shine

today was one of those days that was so busy i was talking to myself.  
do you do that?  maybe it's just me.  
when my to-do list is longer than the hours in the day i literally speak aloud instructions to myself to keep my distractible mind on track.  
'ok - 15 minutes until i pick up the kids...that gives me time to make the tea.  ok...got that going...let's wipe down the table...don't forget to send that e-mail before i go...' 
i swear it works wonders on those days when i don't have a moment to spare.


so here i sit on the barstool at my kitchen counter at the end of a busy day.  as wiped as i am i really want to scrounge up enough energy to tell you this quick story that i've kept tucked away for a few days until i could get it in writing.  forgive my not-so-polished post...i'm running on fumes.


lunch conversation over chips and salsa after church last week...
lucy:  hey oliver - i have jesus in my heart.
oliver: {chip in hand...looking up from his own personal bowl of salsa...you know it's serious if it pulls his attention away from his 'dips'} no wucy!  jesus is in MY heart!
lucy:  oliver, that's not nice.  you have to share jesus.
oliver:  THAT'S not very nice.  he's MY jesus.
lucy:  {sigh} ok buddy...i guess...well...i'll have miss kasey in my heart.


my sister haley and i had a pretty good laugh out of that one.  with each exchange we looked at each other with wide eyes and grins...the thoughts of a 2 and 3 year old continue to surprise me.


i've probably shared that story a dozen times over the past week...it was just too cute to keep to myself.  but it's just been the past couple of days that i've seen the lesson in it for me.  


the bible says this - 
you're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. we're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. if i make you light-bearers, you don't think i'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? i'm putting you on a light stand. now that i've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! keep open house; be generous with your lives. by opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous father in heaven. 
{matthew 5:14-16 MSG}


just like my little ones i can honestly say - jesus is in my heart.  he is precious to me.  my time with him is sacred...it is my lifeblood.  he has redeemed my broken life and set me free from captivity over and over again.  me and jesus...we been through some junk...we're tight.  we got a good thing going.


and sometimes - like oliver - i don't want to share.


i don't want to share him because sharing him means sharing my heart...
     and my heart isn't always in perfect condition.
i don't want to share him because sharing him means trying to explain the unexplainable...
     how do you do that?
i don't want to share him because sharing him means risking rejection...
     and i don't like how that feels.
and if i am completely honest...
     sometimes i don't want to share him because i am too busy keeping him all to myself in my own little quiet jesus-time bubble and i don't want someone else coming in there and bursting it.


and so there are days when i miss the opportunity to share jesus.  
i choose to keep to myself rather than sharing joy.  
i choose a hurried pace rather than sharing peace.  
i choose a spirit of aggravation rather than sharing grace.  i choose to harbor anger rather than sharing love.  
and those people that i fail to 'shine' on turn away.  there is no light to draw them in and so they go...looking elsewhere...when i had the answer to their own heart cry right there in my possession.  
    in my tightened grip...not my outstretched hand.


miss kasey is one of my dearest friends.  i love her.  she ministers to lucy and oliver and dozens of other children at our church every sunday morning.  i see jesus in her all the time but she's not him.  she could never be his perfect peace, grace, love, joy all wrapped up for us forever and ever amen.  nothing compares to that.  so after our little lunch time chat i started wondering.  
if we don't share jesus with others who or what will they fill their hearts with instead?  
the thought of that made me realize that i don't want to walk around with a bucket on my head.  
i want to be generous with my life.  
i want to shine.