The Letter Jacket

12 12 2012

They tugged at my heart. Sunday evening found a teenager holding a kindergartener on his lap. The little boy is slight and has been very sick. His head bears an ugly scar and is smudged with just a shadow of hair starting to grow back in after his medical treatments. The teenager is strong, tall, and wears a letter jacket. Worshipping together, they created a picture of God that causes a lump in my throat.

The kindergartener was excited. He climbed and wiggled and squirmed over and under the legs of his big friend. The teenager was patient. He could have pushed him away. He could have ignored the little one’s efforts to capture his attention. Instead, he gathered him in his arms and did something amazing. Very gently, the big kid slipped his letter jacket around the shoulders of the illness-wracked little boy. The kindergartener got very still. His eyes grew wide, but not as big as his smile. His shoulders curled into the jacket, feeling its weight and enjoying its warmth.

The teenager then snuggled the kindergartener into the crook of his arm. He secured him close to his side, letting his presence, size, and closeness calm the boy’s heart. The little boy relaxed, but never took the jacket off. Way too big, it seemed to fit him as he sat next to his big friend. Finally, he fell asleep, trusting himself to the one who held him tightly.

God chooses to reveal His heart to us through quiet moments and in simple ways. Here, it was through the actions of a teenager and the warmth of a letter jacket. I am so like the illness-plagued little one. My heart is injured, sickened by sin, wrecked by guilt, and wracked by shame. Drawing near to Jesus, He wraps me in His very own garment of grace. He draws me close to His side, inviting me to rest in the nearness of His presence and the warmth of His grace.

My Jesus Resolution today is to be like those boys. Like the kindergartener, I am going to race to get to Jesus. I am going to plant myself in His presence, and delight in being near Him. I am going to wear the gifts He gives me with humility and wonder, resting by His side, content to just be close. Like the teenager, I want to share the warmth of Jesus with someone today. I want to be willing to open my heart and my arms to someone who needs to know that Jesus cares. I want to be willing to give away what identifies me in order to help someone else experience the love of Christ.


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