My two granddaughters, 15 and 13 years old, and I decided to go shopping. My fifteen-year-old granddaughter was sitting in the passenger seat in the front. A baby in a pick-up truck pulled up next to us. At least that’s how he looked to me. He must have been about eighteen years old, kept driving close to us, and staring at my granddaughter like she was a cheeseburger and he hadn’t eaten in months. I have very beautiful granddaughters. I don’t blame the guy for wanting to gaze at their beauty. After a few minutes, he threw any idea of being subtle out the window. He slowed down when we slowed down, and sped up when we sped up. It was funny. He wasn’t being weird or inappropriate. He was a guy in a pick up truck looking at the beautiful girls in the Honda CRV.
I said out loud to my granddaughters, “I hate when guys do this to me. They keep trying to look at me, and flirt with me. I’m a married woman. And here, my two granddaughters are in the car with me while he’s doing it. I’m so embarrassed.”
My granddaughters, who get my kind of snide humor, laughed out loud and loudly. It's obvious an eighteen-year-old in a pickup truck was not trying to look at "Mema." I’m not saying I look like Quasimodo, or that my husband screams in terror when he sees me in the morning… but…. I WAS NOT THE PERSON THE GUY WAS ATTRACTED TO AND STARING AT. It wasn’t MY beauty, or MY car, or the way I was driving it, or the music playing from it that caused him to stare. It was the beauty of another person in the car with me that was drawing him to my car. It was her sheer beauty. IF I was serious about thinking that the guy was checking ME out, I would have looked like a fool. I would have been a fool. I would not have been walking in truth. I would not be giving credit to the beauty that is my granddaughter.
It got me thinking about the fact that Jesus is driving in the “car” with me as I go through life. It is Jesus who has the beauty that will draw broken people to see Him. They may be looking at me, but it is Jesus they want to see, NEED to see. As I have been traveling non-stop the last eighteen months, talking about my mom and her life, it is Jesus in my mother that is the reason her life is being magnified. She was magnificent for sure, but her only request from me as we were reading my book about her together was, “Point to Jesus. Don’t point to me.” It isn’t my mother that people are drawn to – it’s her love affair with Jesus that they are drawn to and changed by. It isn’t my words about her, or my songs, or my talent, or my wisdom that people will want to gaze at. I look like a fool if I think it is. It is Christ in me.
I have lots of friends and know many people who are spending their lives using their talents. These talents we have are free gifts from God through the Holy Spirit. We didn’t earn them. We didn’t ask for them. We were GIVEN them to share with The Body of Christ. His power through these talents help us proclaim the GOSPEL of…. Jesus Christ. We cannot be so focused on being sure that everyone knows what we have accomplished for God’s Kingdom. It makes us utterly ineffective in bringing Living Water to anyone’s thirsty soul. An ounce of the flesh will kill a ton of The Spirit. How foolish and ineffective we are when we try to put the spotlight on what WE do, and what WE say, and what WE are or what WE know. God uses us for sure. God uses our lives to reach the world. God uses us so that the world will focus on the Center of The Universe - JESUS.
To want people to focus on OUR accomplishments, our achievements, our church, our pastor... OUR ANYTHING is to continue to sentence them to living without Life. To Dying without Hope.
There is no song and no singer of that song who can bring LIFE to their hearts instead of DEATH. Oh, they may enjoy the music and have a fun and happy night. But we are called to RESCUE THE PERISHING. Aren't we? There is no Bible teacher, no speaker, no pastor, no worker who has the power to put eternal LIFE in to a DEAD HEART. We must always remember to step aside so that they can see the Beauty that is Jesus Christ.
The baby in the pick up truck wasn’t looking at me.
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."