“What Will a Life Magnify?”

“What Will a Life Magnify?”

Did Jesus practice eucharisteo as he walked to calvary? As people spat and spurned, did he continue to give thanks to God the father? When he was so greatly burdened, bowed down with the heavy load, bruised, agonizing, and all he could see were the dusty feet of those crying out for his death?

I’ll bet Jesus did long to wash those dusty feet. Indeed, his death was like the washing of their dusty feet… and ours. The night before he died, he washed his disciples’ feet. The master bent low in humble service, giving to his beloved friends, those whom he trusted and those who followed him, those closest to him on earth but still not fully understanding the mystery about him and what was about to unfold.

I’m certain Jesus was very lonely. No one really understood him. Or what he was really about. Until he was gone.

I wonder… do I understand any better than they? Even with the benefit of the Word written before me, the benefit of hindsight… they didn’t see what was coming, but I see retrospectively.Yet… they walked with him, in his presence, in daily closeness. Whose perspective should be more clear? We’re all seeing through a window muddy and eyes curtained, veiled here on earth, and must ask God to continuously wipe our lenses and hearts clean. For my default is to see not as things are, but as I am, from where I am, from who I am.

From his death, and through his death, we can find and practice what Ann is teaching about eucharisteo. He was giving thanks to God, the ultimate thanksgiving to God the father. He surrendered his life, in order to give us life and offer us hope. Ultimate surrender, leading to ultimate joy—communion with the Father. Ultimate grace he pours out, full surrender, willing, arms open wide, hands nailed, carrying the scourge of death and sin and agony of hell. Ultimate eucharisteo, so that we can even have the hope of understanding one iota, one “yod”, about grace, love, gratitude, joy… eucharisteo. Without him, we couldn’t understand any of it, much less live it, or offer it.

He didn’t hurl rocks back, spit, cast angry glances, clamor back for the death of those killing him. His death washed the dusty feet of those killing him… his death washed sinful hearts clean of caked sin and self.

The words he spoke and breathed were grace-filled– he committed himself into God’s hands, and prayed in his prayer for forgiveness for those who killed him—words that reveal his heart. Love in that heart, God-love, in human bones and flesh.

Gentle and humble, not proud or vindictive, not even considering himself to be equal with God.

This is Jesus, who my heart follows.

This Jesus, who hung around with the imperfect people, the sinners, the outcasts, the folks who just didn’t have it all together.

I’m one of those he would have spent time with. I’m ok with that—no, I’m thrilled– with that. I’d rather have Jesus than the company of a Pharisee. Or anyone else for that matter.

Earthen shells, those of us following in his steps, also can be receptacles for this God-love, as we pour out what he gives us—as his love spills over and washes over those around us with a power that can heal.

But, it’s hard, isn’t it, because… it’s hard to wash the feet of those who don’t like you. It’s, shall we say, very difficult, to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us… the natural response is to fight back, hide from the pain, or protect ourselves from further hurt.

But… his surrender. It means open hands and open heart to do that which we have no human power to do. And his power is made perfect in weakness. I’m glad of it… all glory belongs to Him. And, there’s no way I can do any of this on my own.

I don’t like the suffering. I suspect most of us don’t.

But I want Jesus. And what is the walk in this world of suffering doing, but to transform me into a soul, a heart, like his… being made ready for a more perfect place… a place of unspeakable beauty… and in the process spreading beauty here on earth, until I make it to that real home of mine.

Heaven is going to be some kind of place… with rest for the soul, perfect joy, infinite communion with the source of Love.

How is the suffering of this present world transforming you? Because at the end of the day:
“What will a life magnify? The world’s stress cracks, the grubbiness of a day, all that is wholly wrong and terribly busted? Or God?” — Ann Voskamp

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This was a hard post to write. But heart-felt…from a place He’s been working in me— turning me into something He can use. How are you being transformed? Wishing I could sit with you blogging friends out there and talk real over a cup of coffee…but the next best thing is joining you friends every Wednesday and reading your thoughts at A Holy Experience:

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14 thoughts on ““What Will a Life Magnify?”

  1. “I wonder… do I understand any better than they?”

    I wonder that too. Sometimes I think yes! And I get frustrated with their lack of vision. But other times, no! I can live far off the mark, even with all I know.

    Yes, heaven is going to be some kind of place, praise God.

    1. I know exactly what you mean, Lisa– sometimes the disciples just didn’t get it, but then many times I also don’t get it, either! Thank you for reading and commenting.

    1. LuAnne, I believe it, without him, we’d not know what love really is. Thank you for reading and for your comment. God bless you!

  2. Thank you for these words. For sharing your heart. For asking the hard question “What will a life magnify?” I pray that my life magnifies Him. I know that I fall so short. Just like I know that He will be the first and the last to forgive me for that lack. One of the many, many reasons my heart belongs to Jesus. God bless you today –

    1. Amy, your words strike me– “He will be the first and the last to forgive me…”– thank you for that comment, the reminder that although we may lack, He is that much more full of grace. He is so good. God bless you!

  3. beautiful post. I could relate so very well… I hate suffering. I whine and cry and kick and scream through it… but when it’s over I realize how much I loved feeling the arms of Jesus so tightly around me through it.

    1. Lauren, I’ve found it true also, at the end of it, I’m closer to Jesus than before… hard to get there, like you say (“whine and cry and kick and scream), but I’d rather be there and close than far away. Thank you so much for reading, and for your encouraging comment. God bless you.

    1. Mama Zen,
      I wrote what God put on my heart and what He’s been teaching me. Thank you for reading and your kind comment. God bless you!

  4. There have been times that I have been like a Pharisee and may have been more comfortable with them than with Jesus. But, now, as my experience and understanding of grace evolves, I find myself much more at home with Him.

    1. Jen, I suspect this applies to many of us– thanks for being real. What blesses me is not only the honesty but also that you were able to step back and recognize those times, because it’s proof positive God’s grace is real and bigger than any of us and is making an impact in a personal life, and there is hope for the Phariseeish (I’m making up a word here) stuff in any of our lives. Thank you for commenting, and God bless you!

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