I have a confession.
I do love Jesus. I do.
But I also let a few words slip through customs that had no business boarding the plane.
I’m the first to admit it and the last to deny.
But one day in particular just seemed to pile up baggage faster than I could put it away. I was so frustrated. I finally arrived into my house and stubbed my toe hard on an end table.
Not the word used, but a variation on the dark side.
And wouldn’t you know the minute the word left my lips, a picture frame I had on my built in book case came crashing down.
The weird thing was, I had it steadied by something else to its side so for it to fall was strange.
The remnant sat in my brain all afternoon until memories of my great grandmother just seemed to flood through me and I couldn’t brush them away.
And then it hit me.
My great grandmother.
My great grandmother was getting after me for using dark side words.
I laughed out loud and apologized to her, and I could almost feel someone’s sharp but forgiving smile.
I called my grandmother and told her what happened. She laughed and reminded me that she never cussed a single day in her life and never approved of it. That showed me.
I think back to the days of Jesus and miracles and prophets. And I wonder about the Loud Speaker version of God that was in your face and burned non burning bushes and sent Jesus on a rampage in a temple. There was no lack of subtlety in those days. Nobody can argue that.
But in the way that God has transitioned Himself into a refined gentleman that He always was but always will be as well, I do believe He speaks, and listens with such subtlety and detail so that not a word falls short of His ears.
Think of it this way: Jesus’s disciples followed Him so close it is said that they walked in His dust. That visual is what validates my grandparents’ continual presence in my life for me. That visual gives illustration to the careful consideration my grandparents take to choose the moments when they know my heart is so hurt it bows in and of itself, or those moments in such happiness that it bursts in confetti.
As long as I live, I’ll follow as close as I need so as not to miss a moment of love from my grandparents. Or from past loved ones. Or from God. I want to be covered in their dust.
I want to recognize these moments as much as I can. When Jesus appeared to the disciples three times, they failed to recognize Him. At all. The author brought up the thought of Jesus appearing in three different people to the disciples, so the disciples missed the part where Jesus is all people.
We should never miss a moment. Never miss a step. Never stop to wash the dust off but move carefully, considerately, and kindly so that we might recognize when Jesus is tending to our hearts and to us. And though we fail daily, there is always tomorrow to get up and try again.
It is worth the risk.