Jesus looked steadily at him, and His heart warmed towards him. Then He said, “There is one thing you still want. Go and sell everything you have, give the money away to the poor—you will have riches in Heaven. And then come back and follow Me.” Mark 10:21
So there have been a lot of long talks into the night the past few days. Well, mostly listens. I have been listening to the stories of someone who has, not through any choice of her own, well some of the choices were hers, and some of them not, and the point is that she had an awful lot of it chopped away. All of the stuff of life that we put confidence in: our cleverness, our connections, our beauty, our hard work ethic. Everything.
And that is what He wants. He wants us to step out of the robes that weigh us down and so easily entangle and follow Him who being in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant and becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
And there is enough pain to go around. Thank you NPR for brightening my morning with the interview with a prosecutor in child abuse cases. And the Russian and Ukrainian brink of disaster. And the student-led protests in Venezuela. And the strapping young man living in the back room is having a rough weekend too, and really all I can do is hug him and say that I care. And Uncle Jim who came over for soup and raisin bread has to look in the mirror and decide what to do with the man looking back.
And in the midst of it all, I am struck by Jesus, who looked at the rich young ruler and loved him. He saw through all of the clutter and saw His child.
And when it was all said and done, that is what gives courage to my newest houseguest. That He cares. Through it all.
And whatever it is that I lack, that I want, that still impedes, may I let go, give it all away. And I like the bit about becoming obedient as in a present progressive process. And then the clutter will be gone and I will be able to see the children of God. Everyone.
And it’s kind of interesting that in the English language, as I explained to my students this week, that everyone is singular. This one. And this one. And that one. And the Powerpoint that I was using, created by an undoubtedly frustrated college professor whose students arrived not understanding all that stuff about pronoun case and pronoun agreement had a slide with a spinning globe that said: Everyone on Earth = more than one person—billions of people, in fact. The word everyone, however, is still singular.
And needs a singular verb.
And God so loved everyone that He gave His only Son, the Verb.