My husband and I took my sister-in-law, Rachel and her husband Eric to a Detroit Tigers game. We wanted to spend time with them and we wanted to do something fun for all of the work they put into Zekey’s visitation and funeral. The display of the most amazing pictures of Zekey were picked out and put together by Rachel, most of them taken from her, too. Our church where we held Zekey’s funeral was deep-cleaned by Eric and my father-in-law. We only had so much energy and it was sucked out of us quickly, so they stepped in with agape love.
As we drove through downtown Detroit, I was amazed at the beautiful, old buildings reaching the sky. I then realized, most of these beautifully crafted and architected buildings were empty. They were made for so much more but were only existing. This thought made me think of people and how we are so beautifully crafted by God, our Creator, in His image but some of us are only walking through this life existing. We are meant to be filled with the most perfect love of God through The Holy Spirit, but some are empty and trying to fill a God-shaped hole with the things of life that will eventually pass away.
I see life differently now. I look around not just at random people walking along, doing their thing but I see them as the souls. Some who clearly have no hope. Some who put their hope in their job or even in their families. Others who I sense have the hope of Jesus- I can feel it. I feel a bond that is too strong to deny. When i go to the store, dr.’s office, conversations at my kids’ school with other parents or faculty, social networking i.e. Facebook, I see an opportunity to be Jesus to them, to let them in on my faith whenever I can.
With Zekey’s life, I have been given a passion like I didn’t have before. I’m passionate about sharing the Jesus that’s in me. The Jesus Zekey reflected in his life. Sharing that what Jesus did, as we celebrate every Good Friday (you can listen to a fantastic sermon here) and Easter, that most perfect gift made Zekey more alive than ever, even though here on earth, he is no longer.
I cannot seem to keep in my Father’s love, who was ever present with us during the most difficult days and years of our life. How could I? He was and is so good. Why hoard such a gift? Zekey’s life is bringing others to know the Jesus he knew. I cannot hold that in. I will not hold it in.
As I’ve reflected and prayed through much of this season, as I’ve talked to other mommas and people on this journey we call life, who have scars of loss, suffering or were dealt with what seems to be a really bad hand in life, I can say that those who have found this Jesus that I have, are learning, too, that with scars come passion.
Not too long ago, just a few years really, sharing my faith wasn’t so easy. I never felt ashamed of Jesus in me- not ever, but I didn’t feel so excited and honored to be a part of His kingdom in such a way that made me want to scream to the rooftops why being a part of His kingdom is the best thing for all of us. I didn’t understand how some Christians could be so bold in sharing their faith with strangers.
I understand now. Not perfectly. Not without fault but I can see and I feel the desire and I have a passion now. After the loss and suffering in losing our boy, Zekey, and through that, the goodness and nearness of God, something happened deep in my soul. Something that couldn’t have happened with just desire alone and even occasional prayer to be more bold in my faith. It had to happen through suffering.
Part of walking around with scars, whether it’s because of loss or tragedy, maybe being born into a family whose best ( I believe we all do the best we know how considering how we were raised and where we are in our faith) didn’t bring the love that reflected the Father’s love for you. Or, maybe your own desire to follow the world brought you down a path of destruction. Whatever scars you have, they are a part of your story and if you choose to either continue on a path that follows Jesus, or you start to follow on a path to Jesus, you’ll know how redemption found in Jesus, Him sticking around through it all, will bring you a true Hope in Him paired with a passion in you to invite others into God’s Kingdom.
I’m learning, passion comes with a price.
Passion bleeds from the scars of life.
May I ask, where are you? What scars do you have? Have you seen them in this light- that they can actually bring forth a passion in us to share who Jesus is? Have you seen this as an opportunity to use these scars to reflect the Jesus in you who bore not just our sins but our sorrows, too?
Maybe you’re not there yet. Maybe you have some much needed healing to come your way before the passion comes. That’s okay. Jesus is there, I promise. You just have to look up from your mess, your scars and you’ll find Him there with you, tears streaming for all you’ve gone through. If you’re willing, He’ll grab your hand, help you up and guide you on this path we call life. At the end, if you stick with Jesus, you’ll get to live with Him forever. That’s a promise, not from me, but from Him. It’s a gift that we can receive because of Jesus’ perfect love at the cross.
I hope to keep writing more on how I’m living more intentionally with those in my life. I’m learning to ‘Live Kingdom-Minded’.