The back windshield read, “Please Help! I need a kidney. O blood type.” I was behind the small coupe at a stoplight which quickly turned green and we parted ways. My heart was pricked.
I’m an O blood type, I thought. Should I give my kidney to help this person? How would I get a hold of them? Darn it! I didn’t take a picture of the windshield. Maybe I should turn around and try to track them down? Wait! What if they’re a bad person. Then I definitely wouldn’t want to give them my kidney. Maybe I should interview them first?
This is how my crazy brain works. In a split second I’m wavering between donating a kidney to a complete stranger to creating an interview process for my kidney.
It’s Maundy Thursday and I’m at church listening to the Pastor describe the torture Jesus went through on Good Friday. The flogging, the mocking, the nailing of the wrists and feet. I can hardly stand the thought. I can’t imagine how the soldiers could so brutally hurt someone. How they could be so inhumane and horrible. I can’t understand how Jesus didn’t retaliate.
He died for the men who were killing him, I thought. And just before that on my way down to the service in a rush to make it on time, I thought, freaking hurry up you idiot, when a stranger slowed down and stopped at a yellow light.
And his final cry on the cross was, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
I, on the other hand, would have done what the criminal suggested and called down legions of angels to save me and show them how wrong they were!
I am SO not like Jesus.
I want to be. I proclaim to have His love in my heart, yet I don’t want to give even just one kidney to a stranger without a strict interview process. I don’t want to offer grace to someone who is not in quite the hurry I’m in. I don’t want to be misunderstood. I want to retaliate.
It’s humbling to examine the heart and thoughts and see the faltering for what it is. A chance to accept the gift of grace and unearned love for what it is. A gift.
The biggest question is when we are aware of it, will we respect the gift that God has given us and choose to love more generously? Do we honor the gift, like I would expect someone to do with a donated kidney…my kidney….knowing the lengths I went through to give it?
While we were still sinners Christ died for us.
He didn’t die because we were good. We couldn’t have been. He died because we weren’t, and we were stuck and we needed help.
For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.
What was the joy set before Him? I believe it was the possibility that some would grab hold of the gift and truly experience the wonderful Love of the Father. The love that sustained Him throughout His life. The love that completes us. He knew the striving and seeking and sinning that are all too common to the human condition could be overcome. He knew it and that brought Him joy to deliver that gift.
He was willing to sacrifice Himself for our freedom.
I can’t pretend to understand it. Remember? I won’t even give a kidney. I’m just grateful that God, in His infinite Love, was willing to give it all even when I was unworthy. Had He interviewed me for the gift I know I would have failed. We all would have failed.
Thank goodness there isn’t a barrier to accepting His gift. Thank goodness I don’t have to put a sign on my windshield. All I have to do is ask for it.
Today on Good Friday remember that God’s love is free and He is willing to give it if you are willing to accept it.
Once you receive it please, don’t waste the gift. Put it to use. Show your gratitude by honoring God in your body and in your actions. Take care of your temple with good nutrition and take care of your spirit by investing time in prayer and meditation.
Demonstrate through your actions, from the inside out, that You are a loved Child of God. Bear fruits in your life.
Nothing would bring Him more JOY. Give Him the pleasure of watching you grow.