Friday, October 24, 2008

Can they see him in you?

I’m sitting outside. The coldness from the sidewalk quickly creeps into my jeans and sets up house under my skin. I rub my hands together and blow air from my lungs between my palms, but even the air fro m my insides is just as cold as the air from my outsides.

The coffee cup that sits in front of me mocks me. Its purpose is to hold heat and give heat, yet it is empty, save for a few coins.

I look across the street to a beautiful old church. It is lit from the inside and its warmth radiates through the old stone that it scares away the frost that is covering most things around it. I can see people coming in and out. It is Sunday morning and sometimes, if I’m up to it, I’ll sit near the church and watch.

Families get out of their sleek cars in their Sunday best. Mothers hold the hands of their children as they cross the street from the parking lot to the church. They walk the steps directly in front of me. Yet they do not see me.

Today is not the day for helping the poor. Today is the day to worship the Lord. A little boy is hurrying to keep up with his mother and father, rushing so as not to be late. He is curious about me and my coffee cup. He slows as he nears me and intuitively, his mother turns around and yanks him away from me. She whispers in his ear as they continue on and the boy looks back and catches my eye.

I lean against the building I’m sitting by and try to rest my mind. It is full and always working. Sleep is hard to catch because my body is constantly cold. Sometimes i dream that my sleeping bag has a heater and i can actually feel warmth creeping into my worn tennis shoes.

The service is over and as people file out of the church. They are laughing and happy and talking about a great sermon. “Pastor really out did himself today” they say. I hear that often and i wonder if people really mean it or if they are just being kind.

As they cross the street, i am in their way. I am between the church and their cars and I can see the gears in their heads turning, looking for alternate routes around me. Some take the long way around, some try not to look down at me as they pass, some just wouldn’t even see me if they looked me dead in the eyes.

I see a man walking by me. I recognize him. He stopped to talk to me once when I was sitting in a bus shelter. He told me about a man named Jesus. He told me that his man came to save my soul. To love my unconditionally. And that the people coming out of the church in front me are his people.

But i wonder.....If these people are his, and if this man Jesus, really loves unconditionally like i was told, why don’t they see me.

I can see Jesus around them. The sad thing is that I don’t see Jesus IN them.