If you only knew what fire every person is facing, there isn’t one fire you wouldn’t help fight with the heat of a greater love.
The day the homeless man moved into our loft, a heat wave broke over us.
Gordon literally had nothing the day he showed up, nothing to his name but the sun-faded T-shirt sticking to his back, emblazoned with the words, “Normal people scare me.”
A mingling of alcohol and tobacco seeps from his burning pores.
My brother and a buddy, they’d found him wandering down an empty back road after a court date, the tongues of his boots panting open, longing for relief. Now he stands in the shade at our back door, asking for water.
“You got anything to drink?” he asks me.
My brother wonders if we have some work for Gordon. Wondered if we may have a place for him, and maybe—just to start—a glass of water?
Gordon uses the tattered edge of his T-shirt to mop this mask of sweat puddling in the etched lines of his face.
A silver cross hangs around his neck on this heavy chain.
Before I even think, I touch my wrist to find the small black cross I penned first thing this morning.
We both have our crosses. We all have our crosses.
“To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss,” writes Elisabeth Elliot.
The sun’s losing light as it edges across the floor. I can feel the world tilting a bit, its truth slipping right out and onto the floor between Gordon and me:
Why do we rush to defend God to a broken world, and not race to defend the image of God in the world’s broken?
Gordon’s eyes search mine. The light’s caught in his hair. Yeah, I’ve got no idea if he’s packing something, dealing something, trafficking something, but something holy’s caught in my throat.
We’ve all got our crosses.
I could get Gordon a glass of water.
Could I offer him a place to stay?
Why in the world do we spend more time defending God to the critical around us— than defending God to the doubting, critical voices within us?
What if it is not God who needs us to rush to His defense in the world as much as we need to rush to the distress of the broken who carry the image of God into the world?
In a hurting & brokenhearted world of crosses —
Dare with us? To start a bit of a kindness revolution, a giving, generous, caring, broken and given and transforming revolution?
A 365 day GIFT list, a list of Giving It Forward Today… Could there be a more beautiful way to live a life? A daring path to the abundant life!
Our story of taking the dare to the abundant life, of being broken and given: This one’s for the brave and the busted and the real and dreamers and the sufferers and the believers.