Unmasking Jesus

Has God ever nudged you to do something that made no sense at all at the time?  This morning, God woke me up early and nudged me to go to Tim Horton’s.  I got there, but the door was locked.  Instead of going through the drive through, I sat in my car and I began to pray.  Moments later, a masked man walked around the corner of the building.  He was shivering in the cold, so I invited him to come into my warm car, I shared my coat with him, and I shared the gospel with him.   

When Tim Horton’s opened, we went inside for a cup of coffee.  I introduced him to my Spirit-Driven community, and we enjoyed getting to know our new friend. My friend grew up in an orphanage in Mexico.  He was eventually adopted.  He began his training at age 9 to become a horse jockey, and he’s competed around the world.  But when his life hit the fan last night, he cried out to God for help.  He later told me how thankful he was to God that he, or no one else, was killed last night when he was drinking and driving.  Sometimes God answers prayer by providing shelter in jail.

Amazing things happen when we listen to God’s nudges.  Jesus said, “When you’ve done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you’ve done it unto me.”  What does Jesus look like when He takes His mask off?  This morning, Jesus was a 40-something broken Mexican man needing shelter, a warm coat, a hot cup of coffee, a spiritually alive community of friends, a hug, a free ride, and a bus ticket home.  But what broke through to His heart was when my father pulled out my sister’s Hispanic Jesus songs, and before long, our new friend was in tears.  Words of hope were sung in love to the Lord that reached my new friend’s heart. 

In the process of learning to listen and follow Jesus, He’s teaching me some good lessons.  Jesus is in our midst each day.  Sometimes we must open our doors before He takes off His mask.  Everything we’ve been given is really God’s to share with others.  Retirement isn’t a biblical concept.  Ministry happens best in community.  Translating the gospel into people’s language through music reaches the heart.  Many times, we can miss Jesus because we judge people by their masks.  God uses technology when it’s tastefully shared in a timely manner.  I don’t have to know people’s language or culture in order to be used by God to impact lives.  Coffee shops are sometimes one of the most effective places for faith-sharing.   

Today is a new day to listen and to look for Jesus.  He captured my heart this morning with these words in Psalm 85:8. “I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his people, his faithful ones.”  While I may enjoy writing about finding and unmasking Jesus yesterday, I can completely miss Jesus today, masked or unmasked, if I’m living in yesterday’s story lines instead of being part of the unfolding mystery of listening, searching for, and following Jesus today. 

Lord, please help us to listen well and follow You with all our hearts.  Help us to enjoy the mystery of each unfolding day.  Help us to be fully present and fully alive as we look for You in people, in nature, and in the moments of today.  Please remove the veil that blinds us from seeing and hearing You today.  Please remove the masks we hide behind that protect us from being fully present and fully loving.  May we be so closely connected to You that people see You when they look into our eyes.  And may we see You as we look into their eyes.    

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