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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Overheard on the Streets

Saturday morning, bright and early, when all is usually quiet on city streets, hundreds of people clamored for a good position in line at the AT&T Store and the Apple Store in Pasadena. It was launch day for the newest – latest – greatest “i phone.” Overheard on the streets, one asked those who were first in line, “What time did you get here?” One eager buyer responded, "I’ve been here since 4:30 in the morning. It’s been cold and damp, but worth it!"

Meanwhile, hidden among the throngs of people queuing on the sidewalk, a young homeless man eagerly slept on the cold pavement with a shirt pulled up over his head to block out the light and the commotion. After setting down a bottle of water near his head and whispering a prayer and a "God bless you," the whole scene did give cause to wonder. What if the hundreds of people gathered were told that the authentic Jesus, the Man from Galilee was coming to visit them in a few minutes? There would probably be excitement in the air. His physical coming would probably even supersede buying an “i phone.” Some would hope to touch him and speak with him.

Yet, Jesus appears to us in the distressing disguise of the homeless, the broken, the cast out, the addict and the abandoned. The real Deal was right there at our feet Saturday morning, but He quietly came and went into obscurity just as he did 2,000 years ago. It’s a cause for wonder … What if our thirst for “things” and our hunger for the latest-greatest of everything are crowding out seeing Jesus in our broken mother, cast aside co worker, addicted brother or troubled neighbor. What if the noise of “me” is so great that we can no longer see God? Is it possible that He will come again and we will not recognize Him? What if he should come and go a second and last time, yet not recognizing Him, many are left behind to go it alone for an eternity in their own personal material hell?

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