It happened at Target. As I left the restroom, I turned to walk down the hallway that emptied into the store. I spotted an old man, bent in half, facing the other way, hands on knees. I was about to ask if he was okay, when I heard a squeal and the sound of feet running behind me. In a flash a giggling boy raced as fast as small legs could go, then took a flying leap onto the back of the old man. I watched as the man contorted his arms to hoist the boy higher up until those chubby arms reached his old, wrinkled neck. No generation gap. As one, they giggled and galloped away, leaving joy in their wake.
Faith’s like that sometimes. A giant leap fueled by experience or hope that, when needed, arms or a net will catch us. But sometimes faith nudges us to be the catcher, the one bent in half, anticipating needs, willing to bend low to lift another.
I thought about that today, the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington. You know, the day thousands showed up not with shotguns but hope-full songs like “We shall overcome someday.” They took leaps of faith to march for that which belongs to ALL God’s children. I was nowhere near there. As a newlywed I was all into Jud and me. Not concerned about a world beyond my small one.
And that’s still a challenge. If it’s not about me or mine, it’s easy to leave it to them. Whoever the them is on any given day. But during our marriage I learned much from Jud, a Micah man. He taught me by his life to take leaps of faith and be willing to bend. To vote and care about justice and mercy issues beyond me or my tribe.
As to Micah 6:8 it says,“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (NIV)
While I’m not always sure how that looks, I pray to be teachable. And to be willing to take flying leaps of faith or be like that old man, bending low to give someone a lift. To risk lifting someone higher than my selfish, fearful self.
And just maybe, leave some joy in our wake.
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