Around midnight, a brisk 45 degrees, clothed in jeans, cut-off rainboots, double jacket, and rainbow beanie. Upon the back a guitar and backpack filled with school books, camera, notebooks, and Bible. The streets lit with a dim glow of mystery and cars whiz by leaving behind breezes to move hair and thoughts. A window slams shut, car alarm goes off, voices yell, and "city" noises envelop the air. I breathe in a fresh breath, and lay my foot in front of the other, time and time again.
I wandered home tonight (and in my opinion that's the best way to do it) and I talked out loud (yes, like a looney) with the Lord. And as I walked I looked down, I watched my shadow, I watched as it moved, I looked at the guitar as it bobbed above my head and I noticed the new curves in my thighs (those cursed dining courts...=]) and you know what I didn't notice...everything. My campus, with all the life it's filled with come nighttime silence remained unnoticed for good stretches of my journey, the lives that walked past me remained unthought of, and the nature that screamed out in unspoken languages remained uninterpreted.
How often do we wander through our life focused on our shadow? Focused on our own brokenness, our own faults, our own vices and stumbling blocks, how often do we miss everything? You see, God gave His Son not just for us, but for the person we jostle on the street corner, the person we drive past when commuting, the person we sit near in class. You see, God made the World, everything in it with His Hands and called it good. You see, God has eyes for these people, this world, and this hurt. So often, we look to our shadow and ask God to fix the brokenness, the sin, the temptation, and the hurt and we lose sight of God's beauty, strength, love, grace, renewal, hope, redemption, and compassion so embedded in the world and relationships around us.
Now, I am NOT saying that understanding and seeing our brokenness and vices is not important, because to not know what our sin is, is to let Satan have a ledge, not just a foothold. But what I am saying is that as we pour ourselves out to those around us, as we worship God in His Creation, and as we look outside of ourselves, we understand what it means to be glorifying God, to be dying to self. As we pour out, we begin to understand what it means to be poured into. As we feel for this World, we begin to understand how God feels for us. As we love, we begin to understand what it means to be loved. As we bring healing to others, we begin to understand what it means to be healed.
You want to know what I'm grateful for in my wander home tonight? I looked up before it was too late to see what was around. I encourage you, look up, notice the world, pour out as God pours in, love as You've been loved. Don't wait until you are that grown, matured, and ready Christian to jump into this world and the ministry it is in desperate need of. Jump in and see how you grow because of it.