Saturday, January 17, 2009

Picture Jesus...

Jesus stands at the full-wall window of my high-rise living room gazing out over Abu Dhabi. His back is to me, and I glimpse Him more in profile. Below us spread tall buildings, 5-star hotels, shops, port facilities, a marina, and heavy traffic. People crammed together because housing is costly and scarce, others in long lines for taxis that don’t come because rampant development has made the way too congested, laborers sweeping walks and washing street signs for $150 a month to send home to their hungry families, locals in their gorgeous vehicles with the dark black windows.

His back is to me, but the sense is companionable, me with Bible and journal in my morning chair, Jesus in contemplation of the city.

“Why are you looking out the window?” it occurs to me to ask. “Because I care about this city.” An obvious reply.

And so we dwell there in quiet fellowship—Jesus lovingly brooding, me turning over this fresh sense of inclusion. My prayer of late has been so focused on my “stuff”: failure and guilt as I cling to two specific ways of emptiness I love while He whispers, “Let them go.” Today I see something wonderful. Jesus, there at the window, so matter-of-factly includes me in what He is doing. He brought me to Abu Dhabi, and I, too, often gaze out that window with compassion, or drive the streets with anger over development that chases wealth for a few while destroying quality of life for so many. With Jesus and through Him I am moved to receive the people who inhabit this place. He includes me as companion, as instrument, as incarnation.

Yes, the “stuff” remains, and I need to give attention to ways I resist His voice, and stay with Jesus in it until I break through to surrender. But that’s not all of Jesus, or all of me, or nearly as big a block in our companionship as I’ve made it. He sees me differently than I see myself: as one of His own, as with Him in His ministry, as a co-lover of those He loves. His perspective is life-giving.

And it may even make it easier to loosen my grip and let go of the “stuff!”

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