Everyone

The other night I was laying in bed thinking about everyone. There are so many essential things about each and every one of us. Some of these essentials make us the same. My heart and lungs and other vital organs are indispensable to me, but for the most part they are exactly the same as the beating, inspiring, working parts in every other human being alive today. These essentials make us the same. I thought, there are some people whose lives I could not imagine living. Some people for whom a warm shower, clean water, or leisure time are far from guaranteed, some people who have never seen the ocean or a movie, who have never gone more than a few miles from where they live… And yet, in so many important ways, we are the same. We all bleed and cry, we all need food and warmth and love just to survive. We all sleep and wake on a daily basis, we all came from somewhere and someone.

But many of these essentials make us so so different. We all come from somewhere, but not from the same ‘where’. We all have thoughts which are unique, unfathomable and quickly forgotten. We have unique voices and talents, we all have our own time and energy that no one else can spend for us. With every birth is a new creation, something the world has never seen before. With each death, something passes from the earth that will never come again. Secrets, dreams, ideas, love, songs that go with the departed. One particular laugh never to be heard again.

Even the things that bother me about a person. Even the things that make me angry and sad. What does God see in us? He sees us fully, as we are, even as we cannot. Does he also see what might have been? What could have been? If I am the worst person alive, does he see how I could have been better? I think he does. How do we find our Absolute value? I remember reading that the better the material, the better and worse will the created thing be. (Cows neither very good nor very bad, but great men and angels much better or, if corrupted, indescribably horrible.) How can I see the awkwardness, the quirks, the obnoxiousness and flaws in myself and other and see what Good thing has been twisted? How do we join in God’s work of redemption in ourselves and others? God can see the poet in the broken girl, the healer in the pimp, He sees the compassionate hospice worker in the slum child, and mentors in lonely old ladies… How do I get this plank out of my eye, so I can see more clearly?

We seem to have this idea that when people pass away, they are heavy with history and life lived. They are the accumulation of days and years, loves and hurts and memories and habits, and then they pass. But it could be the other way around. The newly born child has the least experience to be sure, but the most life. The weight of their existence, the unseen but nevertheless palpable and quivering and humming sum of all possibility, of all hope, suspended like the waters of the Red Sea all about them, waiting to be unleashed, to crash and whirl forcefully in the manifestation of the future. And as we grow we shed life in exchange for wisdom and experience and riches and… what? A character in a book I recently read said, “…we’ve all got to go through enough to kill us.” For all of us, life is either hard or long, and for many it is both.

I was listening to a TK sermon about Palm Sunday. The Temple, the first place Jesus headed after he triumphantly entered, was the place where people came to be close to God and to reconcile themselves to Him through sacrifice. Jesus came not only to pronounce himself King of the Jews, but also King in the Temple. He came in and started acting like he owned the place… he did.”My house”, he said, “will be a house of prayer for all nations.” He started throwing things around, cleaning things out and unwelcoming those who had made themselves welcome. TK said, the way we know we’re Christians is that we experience our own Palm Sunday. When God encounters our hearts does he begin to make himself at home? Does he begin to rearrange the furniture and throw things out? A person who buys a house to live in and to raise a family in looks at the place differently than someone who is just spending the night. Does God take ownership over my heart? Does he look at the cracked doorway, the cobwebs in the corner, the darkened light bulbs and stained carpet with a knit and determined brow, mentally taking notes of future work to be done? Jesus, I haven’t kept a clean or presentable house, I know. But please, come in and make yourself a Home.

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~ by justinhong on April 1, 2012.

One Response to “Everyone”

  1. I’m really glad I started following your blog. Your writing style is engaging and thought-provoking. Thanks Justin 🙂

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