Saturday, October 17, 2009
What did you hope to see?
"What did you go out into the wilderness to look at?" Matthew 11:7
I am visiting in North Carolina, in the midst of my ancestral home, with Native women from the Methodist Church. It is breathtakingly beautiful, here in the heart of the Smokey Mountains at Lake Janaluska Conference Center. Named for a Cherokee Chief, this beautiful spot is surely eclipsed by the beauty of the women who are gathered here. Faithful and tender, full of laughter and joy, they have gathered here to strengthen one another in their faith, to care for their bodies and to learn how to serve their communities better. I feel blessed to be here with them. A beautiful place with more beautiful women. God's radiance displayed in the wilderness and in the tenderness.
Jesus saw people coming hoping for a spectacle, a form of religious entertainment, something to break up pain and confusion of their lives. They were confused by John and more confused by Jesus. They expected God representative to be more spectacular than royalty, able to do top notch parlor tricks. They did not expect to see humility and tenderness. They wanted something more while their were experiencing the whole universe - God's love incarnated for them willing to be broken for the whole world. They saw a man and wanted a glitzy wizard.
I pray that today, I can witness God in the midst of the people, gathered with the women who are gathered here to learn and grow. I pray that God will bless me to see the beauty in the humble, the glorious in the average and the power in the humble and tender.