Working away at Crux HQ with the AMAZING @sporkhappy (Sarah)! If you have a Crux problem, she fixes it. I would go insane without her! (@cruxwatches) (at Crux USA HQ)
Though I’m tired an weary, I can always find peace and rest at the foot of the cross. (at Cross On The Peak)
“Be present” is a good general rule for life. As Selena always reminds me, “wherever you are…be there.”
These statements express concisely that we need to be alert, aware, and alive in the moments we occupy - not being distracted by worry, anticipation, fear, or just meaningless things.
Tonight I had a unique opportunity to be present with someone. I was actually sitting on a step in downtown NYC (Soho) trying to find a burger place. As I was just sitting there fiddling with my phone a man limped over to me and asked for a cigarette. I told him I didn’t have any.
When he turned away, I remembered that I had some clove cigarillos still in my bag from a bachelor party I went to earlier this month.
I offered him one and we started to talk.
Kevin has Multiple Sclerosis, anger issues, and not a single friend in the city. Instead of shoes, he had worn-through socks. Kevin’s condition makes him extra repelling. He is homeless, smells of urine, and since he’s sick, no one can bear the burden of ongoing care. He is truly alone in New York City - one of the densest places on Earth.
Coincidentally, I was also friendless and alone in a huge city so we made a good pair.
We just talked and stood together. Simple.
After some discussion, (I honestly didn’t catch most of what he said), I asked Kevin if there was anything I could offer him. Joking, he replied, “weed”, but I couldn’t oblige. A second later he said, “I could honestly use something to eat”.
This was perfect, I was hungry as well! Also, there was a pizza joint just across the street.
Because of Kevin’s disease, he walked very slowly. In time we made it to the pizza place. He ordered the pizza of his choice (meat/meat) and I asked him how many slices he wanted. Surprised, he replied richly, “two”.
“Three slices of sausage pepperoni, please” I spouted.
There we sat for about an hour and just talked, ate, and were present together. I told him that I appreciated his company, and he vented about mean people, phony people, and the people at the dispensery that won’t give him his medical marijuana as freely as he’d like.
Afterward we walked back across the street and talked some more. We talked about Jesus, I prayed with him, and we went our separate ways.
Kevin needs a lot. He needs shoes, medicine, a roof, and another shot at life. However, I believe that what Kevin needed most tonight was a friend - someone to simply be present with him.
As it turns out, it was exactly all I needed tonight as well. I hope I helped Kevin as much as he helped me.
It’s important that we don’t underestimate the power of simply being “present”. BE with those you occupy time and space with.
Kevin was present with me and I was profoundly impacted. I realized that sometimes the greatest gift you can give a person is to simply be present.
Missing my best friend today. Selena, you are my favorite person in the entire world! (@selenafred)
Headed to NYC for a strategic planning session. Looking forward to some city solitude and inspiration. I miss @selenafred already! (at Palm Springs International Airport (PSP))
Can’t believe this…total control, total precision, artistic.
Forests are nice.
MORE OF THIS.
Victor Oladipo is a bad man.
This is a short recap of the project I helped create at the Justice Conference 2013!
Yesterday, we celebrated the climax of God’s relationship with humanity: Easter Sunday. It represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who was crucified to pay the price for mankind’s sinfulness and give us a way to experience God’s grace.
Easter represents the one moment in history where the plot shifted; everything changed for everyone - forever.
This morning I read Mark 2 and it hit me once again: Jesus was a rebel. In one short chapter, he disrupts the religious people four distinct times. I believe he continually disrupts our religion, because even well meaning human hearts have a way of idolizing rituals and rules - turning stale and sour the things that are originally meant for our benefit.
It’s just like Jesus to rock the boat and kick our pride to the curb.
1: Holistic healing (Mark 2:1-12)
Situation: Friends of a paralyzed man get scrappy. They want to access Jesus to have their friend healed, but the crowds make their goal difficult to achieve. They climb onto the roof, cut a hole in it, and lower their handicapped friend down on top of Jesus.
Jesus’ action: He sees their faith, forgives his sins.
Religious backlash: “How can he heal sins? Only God can heal sins! He is surely a blasphemer.”
Jesus’s response: Heals the man, sends him packing.
2: Dinner with sinners (Mark 2:13-17)
Jesus’ action: After calling Levi to follow him, Jesus has dinner with Levi’s friends: sinners and tax collectors (those considered immoral and corrupt).
Religious backlash: “What is he doing eating with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus’ response: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
3: Forget fasting (Mark 2:18-22)
Jesus’ action: He allows his disciples to skip fasting.
Religious backlash: “How can Jesus’ disciples not fast when we’re fasting?”
Jesus’ response: “Fasting is meant to bring us closer to God, but I’m here so it’s time to celebrate wholeheartedly - food and all.”
4: Breaking Sabbath (Mark 2:23-28)
Jesus’ action: Allows disciples to pick grain on the Sabbath (a declared day of rest when no work was to be performed).
Religious backlash: “How could he allow his followers to do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
Jesus’ response: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
In each instance, Jesus disrupts the religious thinking of the day and puts his authority and relationship to us ahead of the rules.
We have to watch out not to become just like the religious thinkers - legalistic, idolaters of ritual over the person of Jesus. This is not a call to anarchy, but a reminder of what’s important first: Jesus.
We do have rules, but we must remember their place. Rules exist for the perpetuation of human flourishing - for our good according to God’s design.
Jesus recognizes our inability to keep the rules. This is why he came to heal the sick, not the healthy. When we presume to have salvation according to our goodness, we separate ourselves further from the person of Jesus through pride and self-righteousness.
Love life with this woman. Nashville, it’s been real. See you again very soon. (at Nashville, TN)