Just a thought here: the most influential man in History, walking down a street-full of fans, spotted a dwarf of sorts standing on a tree in order to see him. Instantly, he neglects the crowd and changes his plans in order to dine in the mans house. This act is scorned at by those close to him as it’s bad PR and would totally bring his rep into question but our famous man is unfazed by all that and goes on to jam in the short man’s house.
“It is not those who are well that need a doctor”
“I came to seek the lost”
“come unto me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”
He also told a parable about a man who was robbed and beaten up. And about how the people who should’ve helped the victim walked straight by him; in a hurry to fulfill the duties of their position which, ironically enough, required them to help the needy. In the story, the man who helps the victim, is one whose life isn’t governed by duty. It is one who is free enough to see the value of life over money, breath over the work of hands, an individual rather than a cause.
There is the nugget then. Is it possible that in our ambitious thirst, we are willing to neglect the individual in order to achieve success? What is success really? Is it something that is measured in the eyes of others or in the contentment of the heart? Is it something that supersedes the gift of peace, the act of kindness, the recognition and celebration of humanity, as well as the touch of love in value?
If He was right about what He said concerning Himself then: the richest man to have ever lived, put his riches aside, the most powerful man to have ever lived, put his power aside, and the most satisfied being to have existed, tasted hunger – and even death – for the individual. The individual became the cause, the ambition was toward the bettering of the individual, and success was in the contentment in the knowledge that no penny was spared in aiding the victim of the Robbery (humanity) through the recovery process, even to the point of guiding them home.
Why then is it that the words such as ‘Ministry’ and ‘Purpose’ have replaced the words such as ‘service’ and ‘love’? In my experience, the general concern for the widows, the fatherless, the hungry, and the homeless has dimmed. Success isn’t measured in the contentment of knowing that you have served, rather it is sought in the advertising of that service: the more people know what good I am doing, the more successful I am.
The silent one died serving in a forgotten part of a huge ancient empire. He did all He did away from the limelight yet the world in time recognized the tremor of His treading feet. History is still mesmerized by his words (for which He was once nearly stoned and eventually crucified).
In real terms, the model He left behind wasn’t the blue-print for a successful business – though that is what it has been, and continues to be used for -, it was the map to the soul, the cooling fan to the tumultuous core at the heart of the human problem. He gave the secrets to controlling the storms but in neglecting the individual we fan the flames rather than douse them.
The tiger backed into a corner will fight his way out; irrespective of the thorn in his paw, he would maul the help. Hurt people hurt people. However, there isn’t a man who isn’t flesh. If we look inward, we will all see the scars that make us who we are, the skeletons we hide to make us who we would like people to see, the smiles that mask the tears that fall in the quiet of the night, the tingling skin that yearns for a touch but is afraid to reach out, the inner child we locked into a sound proof room whose banging on windows behind the curtains we’ve raised, and we’ll all recognize the exhibition we would love to end. That’s because we are all flesh and blood, sweat and tears, and endless love encased in fear: constantly thirsting.
Love more, fear less for all is flesh: put your best foot alongside your worst it will quench your thirst for love and make you Love’s instrument.
“Go into all the world”
“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, so you do to me”
“Love God, and Love your neighbour (the robbery victim, the short fraudster, the receptionist, the caretaker at Church, the boy at the back with the fitted hat, the beggar in the underpass who smells of urine, the father/sister/brother/friend you’re angry with/afraid of ….”
For my part, my heart is still wrapped in fear. I am still trying to peel away the layers of fences and masks as that fierce love that pierced in, slowly trickles out.