I can’t get away from my selfishness no matter how much I reflect on myself and even admit it out loud.
I am thankful for the Man Jesus who treated others the way he would want treated if in their shoes. I rely on His selflessness, and with each reliance, Jesus gets deeper in my soul and strengthens my bones.
Rather than seeing a sad soul on the side of the road whose lost their dignity and is now begging, I see Jesus. So I give what I can if I have the money to give.
When I am before a great person that does not suppose they are so great, I see Jesus and find myself respecting “the big name” even more because of their humility.
Take my father. While he was a missionary, he spent more time with people than he did making sermons or researching Biblical proofs. Not because he didn’t believe them to be necessary, he simply didn’t have the time. With all of the wonderful opportunity and people surrounding him, he simply opened up his grateful heart and was happy as he worked with those whom God had sent to help him build Camp Mount of Olives outside of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
I recall very few of my father’s sermons, even the ones today. What I never tire of seeing and hearing is the way he treats people in public and behind closed doors. He and my mother seek to treat the churched and the unchurched with the same impartiality, just like James taught; James whom we believe to be the brother of our precious Jesus.
In fact, I prefer being around the man Lynn rather than preacher Lynn. Preacher Lynn is a role he expresses four hours a week from a teaching lectern. Though I am grateful for verbal teaching, it is the man Lynn who lives in God’s presence all the time. He lives in the work-a-day world connecting with anyone who loves Jesus and comforts those who need Jesus. And he likes fishing, gardening and listening to my life though it is vastly different than his.
Growing up under my father’s roof, he did his best to treat us with dignity and respect, while still maturing himself as a father – maturing out of his own selfishness. The goal was to humanize us children, not to stick us in a corner hoping we’d figure things out by watching him and mother, and then magically someday thinking we’d know what to do when we got out into the world.
He personally and patiently taught us to play tennis, took us to the camp and let us enjoy the vast playground designed by God that would become the Camp Mount of Olives. We got to work sometimes planting trees, cleaning the area or being a team in general in the making of the camp.
Before there were the written Scriptures, there was the Story line of creation and family. We are family first by God’s grace, then by the practices my parents sought by simply showing affection. They didn’t know and overburden us with a lot of rules, neither were they fearful despite living in a very volatile society that was Sao Paulo, Brazil.
No, they just loved, and still do.
I guess we were Dad’s living Bible while under his roof.
The Bible under my roof in the form of John is tangible proof of God to me. The Bible that is my parents, my aunts and uncles (by blood or in the faith, which is why I like connecting with them, and though some are too busy to reply – I still love and forgive their failings as they have forgiven many failings on my part). I also love the Bible that is my sister and married-into-family. All of these lives and stories are walking living breathing proof of God’s existence, and are the stage in which the Holy Spirit does His work.
God’s selflessness through the Person of Jesus is all around me. Am I in tune?
Christ completes in me what I cannot. And Jesus completes in others what they cannot, so it’s best if I follow Christ when he says to forgive constantly.
I am utterly selfish, no matter how I try to grow out of it.
But because of Jesus, I have hope!