Ready or not, here I come.
Post-resurrection gospel stories are full of hope, new life and in my opinion a little bit of mischief. I can’t help but think that Jesus may have been having a little bit of fun with the disciples whether it was on the road to Emmaus or in the upper room where the apostles were confused, lost and even in a deep state of despair not knowing what to do next. They were hiding not knowing Jesus would soon be seeking. After all, as Voltaire said, “God is a comedian playing to an audience afraid to laugh.” Maybe they were lacking in faith and taking things a little too seriously. Perhaps at times, we do too. Do you remember playing Hide and Seek in which any number of players conceal themselves waiting to be found by one or more seekers?
At times, we play hide and seek with God and that’s okay as long as we remember that sooner or later, we’ll hear him say “ready or not here I come.” And when he finds you or tags you – you’re it.
Recently I had one of those ready or not experiences. I thought I knew how I felt about the issue of immigration, our undocumented brothers and sisters and immigration policies in general. And then this…
At 6:30 A.M. on Good Friday morning ICE agents arrested my neighbor removing him from his home cuffed in front of his wife and two small children ages 2 and 9. He is currently in prison in the desert town of Adelanto with a population 30,000 three incarceration facilities, and no McDonald’s waiting to appear before an immigration judge.
I live on a culturally diverse quite dead-end street in Highland Park. The predominate demographic of Highland Park is Hispanic and that is changing rapidly. Diversity is one of the main reasons that brought me here ten years ago. I’ve learned a lot about myself, Hispanic culture and recently I was reminded that try as I may to not view my neighborhood through the eyes of privilege sometimes, I do without thinking about it. And that’s when I need Jesus the most to say “ready or not here I come…or better yet, here I am.”
I’m sharing this story because there’s an important lesson to be learned.
A common everyday headline suddenly took on a human face. It was my neighbor, my
friend and the husband and father of people I care about it. I was asked to
write a character reference letter which I joyfully and readily wrote. But
here’s the kicker…I could have been describing myself in the
letter and that made me smile. When we view others
through the eyes of Jesus and see ourselves in their pain and in their
need…that’s real privilege. Then and only then do the words of Pope Francis
truly make sense: “who am I to judge?”
Like children playing hide and seek, we too as disciples can be confused, lost and not always sure about what we believe or what we are being called to do. We may think we’re hiding and that Jesus doesn’t notice, but he will always seek us out one way or another.
In this season of post resurrection, I heard
Jesus loud and clear. My
neighbor cried out “here I am.” I heard and I listened. God tagged me and I
knew what to do next. So, if you’re playing hide n seek get ready…you may be next
to be tagged.