Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Have You Seen Jesus?

I once was blind, but now I see!

An oh-so true refrain from the classic "Amazing Grace," true of me and perhaps true of you.

While Shawn McDonald is not a hymn writer, but rather a former drug addict and drug dealer who found Jesus, his lyrics from the song "Open Me" are appropriate for consideration today.

Would you open up my eyes, so I can see?
Would you open up my ears, so I can hear?
Would you open up my mind, so I can know?
Would you open up my heart, so I can love you more?

That is my prayer - EVERY DAY - that he would open up my eyes, my ears, my mind and my heart, that I can love him more!

When I was blind and could not see, it wasn't even a thought - I could have cared less.

The other day I was led to recall a conversation I had with my old college baseball coach - a conversation that occurred one day before graduating from college way back when.

"How do you want to be remembered? The way you are known around here is probably not how you want to be remembered!?!"

He went on to challenge me in a number of areas of my life, none of which was any good at the time. While the conversation is nearly 20 years ago now, I remember it to this day and thank God for his having enough interest in me to have the guts to pose the question and make me think - even if the reaction was delayed for at least a decade-and-a-half.

Like I said, I was blind but now I see...and with that sight comes a constant desire to see Jesus, to hear him, to know him and to love him more.

If you are new here, music has a significant influence in my life. I love to sing and to worship our King - it feels like that is one of the reasons I am still here. I have already listed two choruses that have meaning in my heart - here's another.

"Have you seen Jesus, my Lord, he's here in plain view.
Take a look, open your eyes, he'll show love to you!"

I love how it seems that stretches of time seem to fit together. Saturday I saw Jesus, and Sunday was challenged by my pastor to see Jesus in all things. He challenged us to stop and think when we here of the cancer diagnosis. Does that have the last word, or do we look to see Jesus? When we fall on economic hardships, do they have the last word, or does Jesus? When our lives are falling apart, does whatever is happening around us win out, or do we look to Jesus?

A powerful message.

On Saturday, I saw Jesus in the middle of the afternoon. He showed up in the lives of two of our dearest friends who were present at a meeting to show their love and support for my wife and for me. They shed tears with us, they prayed with us, they hugged us and they laughed with us. Jesus in the flesh is quite something!

He came in the form of a woman with whom I share elder responsibilities in our church. Her loving kindness, her caring in situations where most people want to judge and/or gossip inspires me.

I also saw Jesus in the form of a pastor-friend from a neighboring community whom I have gotten to know over the past several months. When I was stuck with a computer file, I called him. Dave figured out the solution within an hour and was back to me. But more than that, we had a great conversation on Saturday - one that will not leave me anytime soon - talking about where we've been, but more importantly, where we are heading.

I saw Jesus on Sunday when I sat down with a family facing one of life's greatest challenges - living with five children while being caught in the middle of this economic downturn or depression, whatever we are calling it today. With no income thoughts are normally desperate and of the poor-me variety.

"I guess God has something else in store for me. He must know that I wasn't supposed to spend the rest of my life at that job. Maybe I will go back to school and find something part-time to help the situation, but it seems people who hire want people with college degrees."

That's seeing Jesus, isn't it?

More and more, I am seeing Jesus. I saw him on Friday night at a basketball game, for just a couple of minutes when it was all over, when he told Kathy and me how much he appreciates us.

I see him all over the High Calling Blogs network when I take the time to sit down and read blog posts there.

I see him in the lives of those who are dearest to me. The lives of the people in my inner circle are so ooozing with the love, care, grace and mercy of Christ that it is impossible to miss.

I just finished reading Patty's post over at www.flirtingwitheternity.blogspot.com where she talked about Jesus' desire for us to "bear fruit - living fruit." She is just one who is doing it - where it just oozes in what she writes. There are tons of others, as well.

It oozes out of the two guys (I was gonna call 'em old guys, but thought better of it) who were driving around Saturday afternoon inviting people to church on Sunday. They dropped by after several stops to tell me what they had been up to. The younger of the two is 61, the other close to 80, and they have a love for Jesus and a desire to see others come to him...I saw Jesus in those two guys this weekend.

All of these sightings now have me wondering where I will see him next? At the game tonight? On my next sales call? Over the phone? On Facebook?

Have you seen Jesus, my Lord? He's here in plain view! Take a look, open your eyes, he'll show love to you!

7 comments:

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Love that song reference at the end there. Haven't sung that song in ages. And I'm constantly challenged by asking myself how I want to be remembered.

janelle said...

Chris, first, I love LOVE that song by Shawn McDonald (I love the entire cd - and, if I never told you, thank you!) and pray that prayer as well.

Your words here convict me, make me "hungry" for more things, and sightings of, Jesus.

While you saw Jesus on Saturday, I saw God being glorified in BIG ways!

Scott McQueen said...

Thanks brother; I just saw him about 10 seconds ago. Keep doing His work!

Take Care and God Bless!

Kay Martin said...

Chris,

Your sight is amazingly keen in the middle of your transition. God is here. We are not forgotten. Change, even good change, is most painful. In the last weeks I am hearing many who are also asking God "What now, Lord?"

Your writing is blessing me as a new widow. Know a whitehaired woman going through major change is lifting you and yours in prayer.

God bless you!

Billy Coffey said...

This post really convicted me. It's easy to get caught up in the everyday, in all those things that really don't matter, and lose sight of the things that truly do.

I'm going to work on that. Thanks to you.

patty said...

Chris, you have no idea how much I needed to hear this. Yesterday, last night & this morning I've been so burdened with other people's burdens...this post is a timely reminder that Jesus is indeed in the midst of it and His purpose will prevail! Thank you, friend! :)

Ryan Tate said...

I love that song from Shawn McDonald too. Amazing. And I too am so intertwined with music in my life. It is such a natrual experssion of praise and worship.

Thanks for visiting my blog and bringing me over to yours.
Bless God today.