What do you do with Jesus on the Corner, part 2

I think we’ve been getting better these days at being honest about the ugliness and selfishness and failures in our lives.  We call it authenticity and we put a high value on it.

In the past we’ve been better at just showing our shiny side and talking a good game.  So now we make a big deal about how much we fall short.  And it’s really good that we know that we’re all in this screw up boat together.

I’m comfortable sharing my failures.  There’s a lot of material there!  But I think we also need to be honest about those tiny moments of grace and small wins.  We need to say “Look!  With God’s help we can do this!”

Wednesday I shared my recent experience driving by a homeless woman and the fears that went through my head as I did.  I didn’t stop.  I want to be honest about the many times I’ve let Jesus down.

But last winter there was a different Jesus on the corner.  I was in Florida and it was early morning.  I was riding my bike to Starbucks as the sun came up pink over the palms and the boats moored in the harbor.

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This time Jesus looked like a round middle-aged Jamaican woman in a white uniform who was asking directions of another early riser who clearly didn’t have answers.

I stopped and asked if I could help.  She was a caregiver, new in Naples from Miami where her house had been foreclosed.  She had gotten a temporary job nursing a wealthy invalid overnight in one of the high-rises on the gulf and now was trying to get directions to walk to a bus stop to get to a friend’s house where she was staying.

I could tell her how to walk to get to the bus stop, but it was a couple miles away and who knew how long she would have to wait once she got there.  I thought I should do something more than give directions, but all the same questions and fears went through my head like with the pregnant girl plus

  • What if she’s a serial killer cleverly disguised as a plump Jamaican woman? (I mean, really, Ted Bundy didn’t look the “type”!  Who knows?)
  • What if she’s a pathological liar with mental issues?
  • What if she hijacks me and makes me rob a bank and we end up on “America’s Most Wanted”?
  • What if I have to spend my whole last day in Florida taking care of her?  Read: What if, (gasp), this is inconvenient and I die of discomfort?

I thought of Jesus, gulped and said “If you wait right here, I’ll ride home and get my car.  I can take you where you want to go.”

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Ten minutes later, I was back and she was still standing there, tired and patient.  She got in the car and gave me the address of her friend which I put into Mapquest.  It said to head towards Miami on highway 75.  

Miami??! I gulped again, but I also relaxed my grip.  I thought, “Ok Lord, we’re on this adventure together.  Let’s go.”

An hour or so later I was back.

I share this tiny experience today, on Fearless Friday because we all face situations like this.  I want you to be encouraged.  I didn’t die, she wasn’t a serial killer, and the whole ride my new friend just kept saying “Thank you Jesus.  Thank you Jesus.”

By the grace of God, a small win.

When is a time you’ve seen Jesus on the corner?

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4 thoughts on “What do you do with Jesus on the Corner, part 2

  1. beautiful Laura! thank you for sharing this – it IS good (great?!) to share the wins to give courage to others to do the sometimes uncomfortable yet beautiful work of Jesus

    Like

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