Just got back “home” from a full week of travel. I was in Ohio at Malone University Monday and Tuesday and then home for Wednesday and Thursday then an EARLY flight out Friday morning to Washington DC. In all of this hustle and bustle I try to take the moments when I am sitting in a plane flying high above any care or concern I might have 35,000 feet below me and be still. I know it is childlike but I imagine myself “closer” to God up there in the clouds. “It is almost like being an angel” my daughter, Skye once said while on a flight with me. She is right; you do feel like an angel up there flying.. it is peaceful. Besides the few bumps and the occasional “excuse me” and “would you like something to drink”, you are pretty much left alone to do what you want.
This last trip to DC was so much fun for me. I am such an American history nerd and dare I say an emotional wreck when anything patriotic happens. I even cry at the star spangled banner (with exception to a really, really bad rendition that leaves me laughing). So, being driven around by Chaplin Terry, who served as honor guard to Regan, George Sr. and Clinton. I was in nerd geek out heaven. The monuments and memorials were that of the still solemn feeling you get when you attend a funeral of a very good man or woman. My favorite spot was the Lincoln memorial. With each step I took up to the top I thought of the struggle this man had to go through. The hardships… I find him so endearing not just because of the great things he did as president but I connect with him because of his losses. This man lost two children. One while he was in office. What a tremendous agony to bear while trying to keep the union together. Needless to say I stood before his overwhelmingly large statue and got teary eyed. The Gettysburg address is engraved to his right and the words got me to let the tears that had brimmed up fall on my cheeks. It was a beautiful moment. You turn then to the front of the monument and look out over the capitol, the Washington monument and the national mall. It is really a moving experience. I highly recommend it to anyone. I was still on this “God bless America” USA!USA!USA!” kick the next morning when I was driving back to the airport to head home. The traffic in DC is pretty crazy. It has been a while since I lived near a city and the busyness got me a tad frazzled. I was a red light slapping the woman in my GPS when out of the corner of my eye I saw what I thought was a pile of old clothes laying in a heap on the street corner. I only looked twice because I saw a person waiting to cross the street and was curious why they had just walked past this pile of clothes. Then, I looked closer. under this pile of “clothes” was a person… sleeping. The clothes were old blankets and a very worn sleeping bag. The temperature was close to 30 degrees and I had even turned the cars heat on high for the drive. My heart began to literally ache. The light turned green and the GPS prodded me to go and so… I drove away from this person on the ground..covered in old fabric..sleeping on concrete. My mind was so pre-occupied with what I had just seen that until I boarded the airplane I was really somewhere else mentally. I was so mad at myself..Why did I not stop, get out and help this person? What could I have done? How could I have not seen right away that there was a HUMAN BEING in that pile of clothes I so curiously glanced at? The sense of hopelessness began to come to me. I boarded the plane, shoved my carryon in the overhead bin and sat down in my window seat and just stared out…blankly. I began to talk to God. Something like..God, what can I do? I am so ashamed that I did nothing. God, what can I do? We take off and there I am .. up in the clouds...“closer” to heaven and “nearer” to God. I begin to feel him whisper to me. I begin to ask forgiveness for my apathy, for my lack of action. I being to feel a fire growing in the pit of my soul. I wrote down some thoughts I felt were God inspired and am now sitting here at this desk on a “chilly” (by Floridians standards) morning typing out the following.
We are the CHURCH. We are not a BUILDING. If we cannot see past out own church bulletin and signs then we are blinded. What a travesty for us to gather together as believers and study the Bible together if we do not the PUT INTO ACTION what we study and learn. I am not content to sit in a pew, or stand on a stage or even stay in one place. God has placed a calling on my life to GO and BE love. GO and share what GOD has done in my life and what He can do in others lives as well. I am called to not just soak up the word, but to be wrung out daily, even hourly of it so that each time I am filled I am then again emptied out. What a beautiful picture of what our Christianity is. It is NOT about me… it is about JESUS and what HE did. I am calling on all of us who consider ourselves to be followers of Jesus to let go of our lines that we ourselves have drawn. To be free of the thought that our Christianity is just sitting in a “pew” or singing on a praise team or going to a Bible study…how empty that is! Why would we even “witness” to ANYONE if THAT is all we have to offer them! Jesus did not give his life for a club.
1 John 3:18