the alarm buzzed loudly at 5am. i snuggled up to dan and mumbled something about a request for more sleep. monday morning with rain in the forecast & work to do waiting for me downstairs on the computer wasn’t as inspiring as little more time with my lavender scented pillow.
since i’m down to one kiddo to make lunches for, that particular morning task is fairly simple. monday & friday are the days i work at ponce city market so i make one for me & one for her. four pieces of whole wheat bread lined up in two rows. the bread was fresh & extra soft, just the way i like it. i slathered on a little extra mayo just because & then mounded the organic arugula & topped my little masterpieces with thin sliced turkey. a chilled blackberry pear izze sparkling water added in & i thought to myself, what a cute little lunch that’s gonna be.
looking through my denim options i remember praying for the day & thinking to myself how much i longed for HIM to speak to me. i wanna hear your voice today lord was the cry of my heart, but not in some heavy sorta way, just a request if you will. dry shampoo to jack up my roots, rain boots on, all my goodies thrown into a little red whole foods lunchbox & i was out the door-ready for my monday. & perhaps to hear from HIM. sometime.
i quickly popped in the latest Passion cd & listened to crowder on repeat. words about the power of the cross & HIS life given for every single one of us played loudly over & over again.
my monday/friday gig is at ponce city market, the recently renovated historic sears warehouse which houses fantastic destinations for the hip foodies & shoppers of Atlanta. my drive down ponce is one of my favorite drives here in georgia. mansions rich with southern history line the winding road. hundred year old hard woods fill the parks that are some of my favorite photography session destinations. a few of my favorite food spots, a country club & history center, beautiful churches with red doors and sidewalks all lead into the city that I’ve called home for essentially my entire life. further up the road is the krispy kreme donuts where the red hot light flashes, the same light flashed when my folks took us to the city when i was a little girl. the famous fox theatre with its iconic marquis light is another of my favorites in the city. and i’m privileged to see all these on my drive.
privileged. there’s a word for ya. probably each one of us hears that word & immediately thinks, well yes i have so much indeed, but so & so- now they have a lot, a lot of the good stuff. they’re privileged. i’m just ordinary.
ordinary. there’s the other word. when i feel ordinary i assume that i don’t have much to give or that my not-so-much doesn’t really matter. & my ordinary, well if i offer my ordinary, will it be received with a oh that’s all ya got?
i wasn’t really pondering concepts like ordinary or privileged yesterday as i sat in the long line of traffic on that tree lined beautiful road leading into the city when i saw him. he was probably 4 or 5 cars length ahead of me walking on the sidewalk, carrying a sign, in the rain. the cardboard sign looked like it had two words on it. i could only make out the first. “need”. what was the next word? was it food? cash? a job? he got closer to me & my eyes began to sting. the lyrics seemed louder. and what did it matter anyways. he clearly was in need.
Lord, I am a vessel here
I’ll be Your’s now
The earth, the earth
Lord, let Your kingdom come
And let Your will be done
Make me Your witness
From glory to glory
I am transformed in Your image
From glory to glory
Your blood has bought my redemption
he was closer now. the lump in my throat surely was as visible to him as the words of his cardboard declaration were to me.
he walked past my car. i was behind a lexus with a 30A sticker. a sign of privilege in the midst of the ordinary. historic mansions & pizza joints mix with shelters and churches where folks slumber up against the cold brick, no lavender scented pillow in sight. bus stops house the occasional person who’s belongings sit beside them, no whole foods lunch box in sight.
i had no cash in my wallet. i seldom do. no blanket or pillow in the back of my old car. i don’t own a big business with a day job to offer him. i swear the music was louder. make me your witness. i rolled down the window as he was walking back towards me -thankfully the light was still red. i unzipped my lunch box & handed him my ordinary turkey sandwich. he began to unzip the baggy and eat. i reached back in & grabbed the sparkling water and handed him that as well. i forgot to tell him quickly that jesus loved him. the light was changing & white lexus was moving. i rolled up my window and headed to my destination. the tears began to fall. i thought about that fella. i’m certain we’re more alike than different really.
HE spoke to me after all.
I AM transforming you into my MY image. MY blood bought your redemption paige & that guy’s as well. I came for you as much as I came for him.
i don’t want to over think things. someone had a need. while a sandwich isn’t a dignified job opportunity, a warm place to sleep, or a crisp hundred dollar bill, it’s what i had yesterday. why would i not give just because it wasn’t extravagant?
i want my heart to be HIS. i want to hear HIM. and i want to see HIM. honestly, i often times wonder when we get to heaven if folks like that fella with the cardboard declaration were actually HIM in disguise. i’m certain more times than not i’ve over thought and while i’m busy over thinking the opportunity walks on down the road. i don’t want to be a clanging cymbal with just talk about HIM but no heart for compassion. i don’t want to be a white washed tomb either, giving the appearance that my life is all perfect on the outside, yet inside full of yuck and greed. the irony of organic arugula inside 99 cent kroger brand whole wheat wasn’t lost on me.
in the midst of a rainy, ordinary monday morning, HE spoke to me just as i asked HIM to. while the venue wasn’t a historic church with a red door, it was my old beater of a car. the speaker wasn’t a dynamic jet-set, polished preacher of health and wealth ( insert eye roll) it was fella with a need, a few of them i’m certain. yet HE gave me a close-up glimpse into the eyes that represent HIS kingdom. it’s simple really. from glory to glory and we all need help…our needs may be different but we all need HIM. and guess what HE loves that fella the same amount that HE loves me and that lexus driver. HE loves us all so much.
may we share whatever we have with whomever and may we see HIM. my bet is, HE is walking all around in the midst of our ordinary. the sparkling water is optional.
(scriptures today from matthew 23, hebrews 13.2 and 1 corinthians 13)