God In Flesh

The little girl called from her bedroom, “I’m scared.” The sitter opened the door.

“What’s wrong? I’m right here. Now close your eyes.”

By the third time the baby sitter said, “Look honey, God is with you. He won’t let anything harm you. Remember He lives inside of you.”

The little girl sniffed and said, “ I know all that. But right now I need someone with clothes on!” Her innocence spoke volumes!

Do you feel like you live in, and are calling from, a department store display window as your needs are clearly evident? Yet, people call out as they pass by watching you juggle your challenging struggles: “Boy, your plate is full.” “We’re praying for you.” “Must run, meeting, but many thoughts come your way.” And they’re off. And you wonder, Doesn’t anyone see or hear my cry?

As the weeks and months go by, the load increases. Now those running by extend their wishes to: “Bless your heart! May God hear your prayer. I’m off to Bible study. We will pray. Remember, God is in everything. He’s here with you.” Like the little girl, you know this. But you’re drowning, and physically need someone to throw you a lifeline, but don’t know how to ask.

James 2: 15-17 confronts the stand from a distance attitude: “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit’ and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?”

It’s true, the demands of “life” can cloud our vision, and muffle our ears from seeing and hearing the needs around us. And it’s true; there are times when all that is possible for us to give are deep, heartfelt prayers, blessings of encouragement, and love. But God knows the difference between quick fixes, and a compassionate heart. And Paul, in Colossians 3: 23-24 helps us understand the balance: “And whatsoever you do, do it heartily [not half-way-even with our blessings or assistance], as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance, for you serve the Lord Christ” (NKJV).

In the coming weeks and months shelters from the cold, and food for those on the street will increase. But may we prayerfully seek God’s perspective and help on cleaning off our glasses, and clearing our ears to see and hear those quietly suffering: “Bless you. I’m praying for you. Now what can I do?” No more empty blessings. And we just might be God’s extension as the “one with clothes on.”