Often I remind myself of the importance of speaking out and writing words, not because they’ve never been spoken or written before but because our saying or writing them may be the first time someone finally hears them.
I recently heard two simple sentences that had a deep impact on me, not because I’ve never heard anything like them but because I’m in a season where I needed to hear them now.
A few words Preston Yancey recently spoke came at just the right time for me, so right that when he said them, I had to block out everything that was happening around me until I could dig my phone out from the bottom of my purse, fumble with the notes app, and type frantically on the tiny phone keyboard these words, only partially remembered:
“You might not be Jesus in the story you’re telling. Maybe the person you’re with is meant to be Jesus to you.” Preston Yancey
I’ve been away for the past four days. While I was gone, John planted mums.
The house was empty when I pulled in to the driveway from my time away, struggled with the too-tight latch on the picket fence gate separating the cars from our back patio. As I pulled out the key to open the back door, I noticed fresh color near my feet to the left, looked over and saw the mums.
Even though they are small (and even though they are purple) I couldn’t stop the overwhelming sense of gratitude I had for him in that moment.
Planting mums isn’t on the top of the priority list, at least not in our house. Planting mums is something people who have margin do. Planting mums feels extravagant.
By planting mums, John was being Jesus to me. With this simple action, he reminded me of the importance of kneeling down on the altar of the earth, of putting something in the ground that has roots that will grow in the mysterious darkness, roots I can’t boss around.
When Preston said those words – maybe the person you’re with is meant to be Jesus to you – I had to write it down because it’s something I’ve been aware of in myself lately.
It’s a tendency (a bad one) to see myself as the ministering one and to see others as ones who need what I have to offer.
Maybe that’s a normal danger for those of us who write and sometimes speak. Or maybe it’s common to women or people who tend to take care of others. But those words make it sound more noble and less gross than what it really is. I think it’s probably a human thing, starting way back when the couple were told they couldn’t trust God and instead tried to become God themselves.
Preston was Jesus to me that afternoon. John was Jesus to me when I got home.
And so I’m looking for how Jesus wants to keep company with me through the words and hands of others. I’m realizing the importance of letting Him.