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Posts Tagged ‘Hypocrisy’

He had a Jesus fish on the back of his car, so people knew he was a believer. In thin letters, the word “Jesus” was squeezed inside the stomach, in case the open-tailed fish itself didn’t give it away. He didn’t think much about why the word “Jesus” was squeezed inside the fish. He just slapped it onto his car after paying fifty cents for it when he saw it at the register, when he went to purchase the “Purpose-Driven Life”. That book was lying open on chapter eight somewhere in the car; a chunk of bent pages holding its place, next to the NIV version of a Bible his grandma had given him one year for Christmas. He had opened it hoping for cash, maybe a nice shirt, but instead it was an NIV version of a Bible he didn’t need, didn’t want. He loved Jesus and all, but he had four Bibles already, stacked on a drawer in his room next to an old movie ticket stub, a wrapped peppermint, and a pair of readers.

He went to church on Sundays and Wednesdays, and always raised his hands. And high. When the preacher asked people to come to the altar, he always came. He would look to his left and right, to make sure somebody was watching his humility, then came forward, eyes shut, fists clenched, Jesus, I need you, Jesus, I want you, Jesus, I love you while images of himself coming forward played in his mind like a scene from a Christian film—but a good one; one that was well-written, and would make someone other than a middle-aged mother cry.

He volunteered for church events, and served BBQ sandwiches to people who smelled like dirty fish, and he smiled at them and asked them about their day and their name and if they were happy with their life and do they know God and do they want to know God and do they know they can know God right now.

Once he saw a man on the street who he could have sworn he served BBQ to once, probably, oh, five months ago now. He walked up to him and smiled, because if he smiled big enough, he would inject it into the man. There was something about a smile that could just make everything better, wasn’t there? He found out the man’s name again, it was Tom, Tom with almost no teeth who smelled the worst of them all, and who almost never smiled back. He asked if Tom remembered him, but Tom did not. He asked Tom if he was right with God, and Tom just grinned and said God wasn’t right with him. He wished he could have spent more time with Tom, but he had to get to Wednesday church, because he wanted to hear God speak to him. He felt like God was trying to tell him something, lately. Maybe something big. Maybe someone would give him a prophetic word, or lay hands on him and tell him he was going to heal bones, and make disease flee. Maybe somebody would tell him that he was going to be a pastor, somewhere big and somewhere a long way from here. Maybe someone would finally give him permission to go on that mission trip. He wished he could have spent more time with Tom, but he had to go, and he told Tom he hoped he knew that he was loved, so, so loved.

That night at Wednesday church the preacher spoke a message about love of the self, and how we ought not to do things to be seen by others.

His heart was pounding. Yes, yes, this was for him. It was for him; it spoke straight to his soul, and everything he was made up of was trembling.

I want to be better, I want to be the best me, I want to succeed, I want to get it right.

He walked to the front, after looking to his left and his right, to fall on his knees, singing something about holiness. All the while thinking:

I am humble, yes I am humble, now I am humble.

But we all know we must let go of the self,

The very word and action and spirit of it,

In order to be free

To hear something more than it.

We know it in our heads; often

It must be renewed in our hearts.

And I, and we, must confess:

That “He” is me!

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