Do this with me…
Now, exhale.
And as you do it again, imagine Him, Elohim, breathing streams of rivers racing directly into your lungs.
But you don’t gasp for air.
Far from it.
You’re resuscitated from this life into eternity and you love it.
If Jesus was a guitar you’d strum it.
You’d pluck it.
You’d capo on the third fret because three is the beginning of all things and there’s nothing like it.
He’s melodic,
Perfect pitch no matter the octave.
He’s adventurous.
He’s a graffiti artist.
He’s a can of Krylon
Ssssssaving humanity from its destruction.
He’s God incarnate and backs up His Words with actions.
Now, exhale.
And then there’s us.
Huh…don’t even get me started on us.
Thinking we’re the all knowing student circumventing the Syllabus.
It’s ridiculous to think we can blink our way into atonement.
We fall madly in love with the argumentation of the Scriptures, but do nothing with it.
Like the Stoics.
The Greeks.
The emperors in Crete.
The Pharisees.
The elders and deacons.
The pastors and priests.
How many more hundreds of thousands of dollars do we have to spend on our church services before we actually get it?
Before we understand that Jesus didn’t worry about lighting schemes and financial budgets…
Before we understand that Jesus was on mission and not complacent…
Before we realize that we’re commissioned to leave our pews and saturate the neighborhood tenants.
The Gospel is good news meant for the lost and not the Sunday Christian.
So, there I was.
In the middle of a laundry mat in the presence of God talking to an agnostic.
Caustic toward the mere mention of any religious content.
I have to admit, though, I didn’t necessarily disagree with his argument.
Although, all of my theological training tells me I should convert him.
But that’s not my job nor in my power to do so.
He tells me he onced followed Jesus but Christianity got in the way.
And the Truth and the Life was replaced by production lines and proper etiquette for Sundays.
But I painted a picture for him.
One marked by different gauged spray tips, faning and flaring sunsets and horizons.
Selfless backdrops of cityscapes align the composition,
So that it makes way for the reality of redemption.
Imprisoned by our sinful intuitions, I go on to tell him
To imagine Christ in the center of our incarceration.
He’s drawing His community outward and He’s given us the keys to the Kingdom.
And you know what?
He smiled.
He was thrilled because he hadn’t heard the Kingdom Gospel in awhile.
Or ever for that matter.
So why are we holding on to the keys so tightly?
Creating impossible barriers for “those people” to enter into His community.
Now, exhale.
Invigorating right?
See, we breathe the same air as “those people”.
We eat the same foods as “those people”.
We wear the same clothes as “those people”.
We swim in the same ocean as “those people”.
We drive the same cars as “those people”.
We struggle the same struggles as “those people”.
Because “those people” are our people.
And we are “those people”.
We are them.
And the ironic reality that baffles me is this: though we’re all guilty of sin, Christ still came into our world and saturates us from within to breathe life.
For “those people”.
For us.
Now, breathe.

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