See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
1 John 3:1-2
I have been so blessed to share the ministry of All God’s Children UM Church with RIOM (Residents in Ordained Ministry). On a bright and beautiful day, we ventured out together with packed Red Wagons and an awareness of our calling to be present with all of God’s Children. We visited several families, shared books, toiletries, food and friendship. Every family was not only prayed for, but also prayed with. Strangers no more, we held hands in a circle and began to see each other through new eyes.
When we returned to All God’s Children, we shared our thoughts and reflections from our journey through the neighborhood. A simple question was posed, “What did you see?” There was a long pause…no answer, followed by another long pause…no answer. To help break what was becoming an uncomfortable silence, one of the RIOM coaches asked, “How long does it take to build enough trust to pull a red wagon in the community?”
Puzzled, I asked, “What do you mean?”
“Well, every house we visited had a NO TRESPASSING sign!”
I was in obvious disbelief and said, “Really? I’ve never seen a NO TRESPASSING sign.”
What I see are beloved children to begin new relationships with or to continue conversations that God has already begun between us. I was reminded, yet again, how we see differently than Jesus sees. He didn’t see a tax collector – he saw a disciple. He didn’t see an adulterous woman – he saw a wounded sister. He saw beyond their outward situation to what “has not yet been made known.”
I am so hopeful knowing that people are moving in new directions and are feeling the tug of the Holy Spirit to see with the eyes of Jesus. There are eight churches which have, in the last year, committed to pulling red wagons! No trespassing signs may appear in someone’s yard but they may appear more frequently in our hearts. These churches are beginning to see and therefore love their neighbors as themselves regardless of outward appearances. Homes, yards, race, age and social status all become faded in the shadow of the cross.
During this holy season of Lent, may we humble ourselves to find and to see our neighbors as friends and as companions on the journey. The first Saturday of every month is a Red Wagon Pull for All God’s Children. For me and our “wagoneers,” it is our chance, our privilege and our blessing, to enter into the lives of precious children of God. They all have and will continue to transform my life.
I pray for those who see with the eyes of Jesus…and I pray for those who don’t…for what we will be has not yet been made known. The cross helps us see everything in new ways. Lent is our journey to the cross. I will walk to Golgotha pulling a red wagon. Won’t you come with me?