“What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Matthew 19:21
So (see above) people just don’t live that "Love Jesus and read the Bible and do everything He says" so much these days.
For example Alan said that a lot of people these days explain that the early church guys who did what Jesus said, i.e. sold all they had and gave it to the poor not because they were obeying Jesus but because they were mistaken because they thought He was coming right back to get them and so then Paul had to collect offerings on their behalf and that was stupid and embarrassing so we don’t have to obey that commandment any more.
But last night I heard a story about a teaching professor at Rutger University who sold everything he had except for a backpack and an extra shirt and a chess board because he is a ranked Master, and now he sits in Nepalese villages and plays chess with people and talks to them about Jesus.
And there was another story, “the most romantic story ever” of sorts, of this couple who just as they were about to get married, the guy was arrested for being a Christian because they live in China and he got sentenced to ten years and he told her that she was free to marry someone else and she said Never, I will wait for you, even if it is ten years. But it wasn’t because he was having such a huge impact in the prison because of his hymn singing and Bible teaching that the prison official was impressed and kept reducing his sentence and reducing his sentence, and at last chopped it down to one year, but would you mind volunteering to stay one extra year just to help me in the prison? And he did and she did and the prison official became a Christian. And just about everyone else too.
And last night Kevin the Iranian and his sweet wife knocked on the door and wanted me to write a job recommendation for her now that she has taken English four times at Pima, and luckily there were already two extra plates at the table set up under the bright orange red purple sunset. And there was Jackson and his friend from Mexico City that he wanted us to meet and Cate with a C who has the best job ever that included toilet papering a house and dressing up like a 50s girl and hanging out at a midcentury trailer show and yesterday she wore a red wig with braids and sang “Somewhere over the rainbow” to a delighted room of Southside second graders. And Yuchang who is always ready for a good conversation. And pots of food and homemade bread and so many stories about how our God is bigger than we think, yes Cameron I am quoting you.
By the way, Cameron thought that I didn’t love my house because I hate the cockroaches I can’t seem to get rid of, but no I don’t. It is such a wonderful gift house with all of the lights that the uncles and cousins hung and cushions that my mom made and the vine-covered arch that Marco made and even Ali learned how to tile and did the counters for us. And Alan waters the gardens faithfully.
And even though selling all that I have and going to play chess in Nepal sounds like a lovely way to follow Him, maybe I have a different hermeneutics path, and maybe my footsteps have more to do with the “Take eat” way of following, and that is my path to perfect.
Even as He is perfect. Which is my perfection. He living in me. Done and sealed.