on the now and not yet
there have been a few sequestered times when spiritual scales have fallen from my eyes, but most of the time my eyes are opened and my heart is fissured in the midst of the mundane. that's how it happened yesterday, anyway.
as kellie and i were walking through the local dirt mall, scurrying from target to marshalls, to pier one (i may or may not have been a little testy by that point) and back to marshalls (neither of us majored in logistics), i was overwhelmed by how distraught and profoundly unhappy so many of our fellow shoppers appeared. it wasn't the youth group goths - with their spikes, mascara and macabre hearts upon their sleeves - that cracked me. call me callous, but by this point i'm rather accustomed to their angst. rather, it was the forty-something, middle-aged, lower-middle class married couples that i found troubling. as these couples trudged through the mall, their posture pathetic, their eyes sodden and downcast, i couldn't help but question the cause of their misery. was the demolition derby that was taking place in the oak tree lot simply too much for them or were their issues rooted much deeper? were they locked in the solitary confinement of loneliness, where even the voice of a mother, lover or life-long friend provides no solace? were they taking stock of their lives only to find themselves relationally, intellectually and spiritually bankrupt? or were they simply believe that their is life abundant buried in the midst of routine?
i really don't know...much of anything, actually. but i do have some suspicions. here is one of them: we are mistaken to assume that strangers, acquaintances, enemies and allies are self-sufficient and satisfied with their lives. some of them may have indeed found a temporary key to contentment, meaning, beauty and all of those things that evaporate as quickly as august dew. however the overwhelming majority of our companions are desperate to: hear a rumor of hope, receive a tender touch, whisper in an ear that is not attached to a tongue and perhaps even find a seat at our secluded table.
the Kingdom has indeed come. living water is available for the parched, bread that does not rot is being distributed to beggars, the prostitutes of sunset strip are unexpectedly inheriting vineyards. the Kingdom has indeed come.
i hope to God the Kingdom finds fulfillment in our relationships with the strangers, acquaintances, enemies and allies that shop alongside of us, live on the streets we dare not frequent and sleep in our beds. more and more, that's the type of fulfillment God is teaching me to look and long for.
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