Perhaps about a year ago I saw a comic strip image on Facebook of Jesus sitting in a restaurant waiting for his buddy “John” to show up. He’s sitting there at 8:00 all alone saying to himself, “I can’t wait to hear from John for a bit over breakfast!” The next picture is of him, still all alone at 8:05, “hmm, I know John agreed to this breakfast date… maybe he’s just a little late.” Then 8:30 “Gosh, I sure hope he’s doing okay!” Then 9:00 “Oh bummer, I guess John forgot he was gonna meet with me. I was so excited. I guess I’ll just come back and wait for him again at lunch.”
It was on Facebook, it certainly wasn’t theologically sound per se, and it was a comic strip of all things. But still, it hit me kinda hard. How long would I wait for a friend before I left, feeling upset and like I got “stood up”? I certainly wouldn’t be patient–even 15 minutes in–and I even more certainly wouldn’t be planning to do it all again the next meal. But as I found myself trying to relate with Jesus in this scenario (and failing, as it may be), it dawned on me that the real person I was relating to was John.
How many times have I knowingly stood Jesus up? Or, how many times, knowing what I really should do is sit down and have a full-fledged date with Jesus, have I rushed in late, thrown my food into a to-go container, stammered a quick greeting, followed by a hurried excuse and goodbye, and hurried out the door–checking “pray” off my to-do list for the day? I forget that God really, sincerely wants to hear from me. I forget that he’s waiting for me. I forget that he longs for me. I forget that he stands there, offering me the truest of true loves.
And I brush him aside.
“Why do you run? Why do you hide? Oh, don’t you know I
just, just want to be with you–to be with you!
Looking down from above as you watch TV
Wondering why you’re ignoring me.
Don’t you know that I died? Died so I could be with you–Forever.
And I’m waiting for you.
And I’m waiting for you.
Find a place of solitude, and I’ll speak to you as you pray to me.
Don’t you know I’m waiting here, waiting for you to read and hear my words?
I’m waiting here missing the times we shared.
Oh, please come to me!”
“I can’t wrestle with your demons if you never let me see them.
So I’m reaching across the Grand Canyon
Hoping you will take my hand.
Wondering why you’re just not listening.
So for the time being
I’ll just keep on reaching for you.”
Or FFH’s “I am Love“
“I can see what you’re trying to do
Fill this space with another lover
You should know that I have feelings too
And we were made for each other.”
I am running, I am hiding, I am ignoring the only One who is pursuing me with a perfect love. To be honest, it can be hard not to. Even though giving into this love should be the easiest thing in the world, somehow–through our twisted, sinful nature–it doesn’t come that easily.
I don’t have answers. I don’t know how I’m fully going to embrace the love that God pursues me with every single minute of every single day. But the first thing I am going to do is to recognize–to recognize that love, to recognize my running from it. To recognize that somewhere along the way, I make a choice to run away or to run to him.
Will you join me in a simple moment of realization? In a moment of being aware of the great love He desires to show you?