March 24, 2019
THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT
To See Beyond
The fruit truck, sagging under loads of Florida oranges, careened, its brakes impotent. A dumbfounded man on morning errands curled into stilled silence inside his crushed Oldsmobile. Doctors looked but saw no hope: “It’s time to give up.” Steadfastly, every day into the barren seasons, the sound and touch of love attended him.
From sweltering southside projects to heatless northside slums, into streets at night and alleys by day, the child, more sad than angry, carried desperation until he was carried to prison. There, forgotten, he became more angry than sad. Guards looking at him saw no worth in him. But, piercing the hardbound walls, there came the faith of ones who refused to turn their faces away.
Pacing for hours day after day, ignoring sunshine and rainfall, the woman hunched and twisted inside layers of coats over jackets on top of sweaters. She repeated aimless steps outside the treatment center, chatting as if she had more company than her cigarette. Looking through windows, aides nodded: “She’ll never change.” A girl in jeans ran up to her, taking her hand. They walked together.
The buzzing at the door fell silent, and impatient knocking replaced it. A young man, shamefaced, slid a chain and turned the deadbolt. “You’re late again. Always the same with you!” Then the ultimatum: “Your rent now or you’re out!” Wobbling, the young man closed the door and sat, wooden-faced, holding his cat. Then the phone rang—”I have an idea.”
“See here! . . . I have come looking . . .” (Luke 13:7).
“It’s time to give up.”
And they saw no worth in the boy.
And they nodded, “She’ll never change.”
And he said, “Always the same with you.”
Yet the audacity of grace looks to see beyond barren seasons. The courage of hope looks to see beyond hardbound walls. The nerve of faith looks to see beyond aimless pacing. The boldness of mercy looks to see beyond shamed faces.
“Sir, . . . one more year” (Luke 13:8).
From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2019 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.