On Sunday morning a man showed up at church with both of his ears terribly blistered, so his pastor asked, WHAT happened to YOU?
I was lying on the couch watching a ball game on TV while my wife was ironing nearby. I was totally engrossed in the game when she went out, leaving the iron near the phone. The phone rang, and keeping my eyes on the TV, I grabbed the hot iron and put it to my ear.
How dreadful, gasped the pastor. But how did the other ear get burned?
Well, you see, Id no sooner hung up and the guy called back!
+ + +
He just didnt get it. Lots of folks never get it, never understand how life really works, even at the simplest levels. Thats why Jesus is pressing his followers and us so insistently in Sundays Gospel: Do you understand who I am, he asks, and what my being here means for you?
Its a crucial question. And theres one sure way of finding the answer, and that is by checking how were living. Are we living like people who know for sure that a loving God is walking at their side at every minute? Lets see:
+ Have we stopped wasting our time worrying?
+ Have we put aside posing and posturing and fretting about our image?
+ Have we stopped closing our eyes to our dark side? And stopped avoiding things that seem too much for us?
+ Do we welcome life with a happy heart. Are we glad to wake up in the morning?
+ Do we see how gifted and special we are? At least sometimes, does seeing our own giftedness just make us want to smile?
+ Do we have hearts so full of thankfulness that we instinctively work at helping others be as happy as we are?
If thats the way were living, then we understand who Jesus is, and we know what it means to have him walking with us. It means that weve been set free from all kinds of chains and fears and sadness. It means that no matter what, were going to be okay. It also means that we have the power to help set other people free from all manner of sadness by showing them HIS face mirrored right here in our own.
A long time ago there was an old Indian chief whose little granddaughter was something of a sourpuss. Are you happy? he asked her one day.
Yes, grandpa, she replied.
Well then, my dear, why dont you tell your face?
We have every reason to be very happy right here and now because we already have everything we really need: We have God himself!
Why dont we tell our face, and our heart?
Weve already got it all!