A Living Invitation


The uninvited dinner guest at the celebration of life.

You know, the One who slips in the back door completely unnoticed,

camouflaged by the crowded chaos...cavalier smile in tact.

We don't expect any unwanted visitors.

We think the perimeter of our world view is perfectly air tight.

But somewhere in the dance of life we change partners.

Somehow compassion slips away and contentment takes its place.

Because maybe the rhythm of mercy just doesn't keep time

with our own needs, our own dreams and our own responsibilities.

               In our scripted plans of daily living there is a voice.

It pleads us to stay on task to ignore the interruption of the divine.

It begs us to stay in the comfort of our homes to avoid the need

outside of our own four walls.

It offers exemption...

Someone else will engage the broken
Someone else will visit the sick
Someone else will help the orphan
Someone else will feed the hungry
Someone else will encourage the downcast
Someone else will...

We get lost in the numbers.

I've been there.

We get overwhelmed when we consider the great sea of need

across the world's horizon.  

I've been there too.

I recently heard someone say:

"Do for one, what you wish you could do for many."

Because YES there IS great need in Africa, in South America and in distant

lands we may never touch with our own hands.

Yet one needn't venture there to find the face of suffering.

In the reaches of our own little world there are roads right around us

littered with sadness and pain...with loss and hopelessness.

In our very own community...

Our melting pot of soccer moms and power suits,
where backyard barbecues and concrete jungles define American dreams

In our encounters with friends and strangers...we find 'picture perfect' fading....



into a flawed image.

We are an imperfect people.

We are an imperfect people who happen to need each other.

Who happen to NEED each other...even in our imperfections.

So what would happen if we learned to gaze beyond our own tattered fences

and our own troubles and demands?

Would we see?

Could we see what is hidden by the thin dark shroud of the status quo and of

the problem of our own pain?

Could we still our hurried hands and racing minds long enough to

lift the veil to SEE someone else?

"Beneath the worst the world can do, there is always the glimmer of the best." -Frederick Buechner


It is the glimmer that glows even in the darkest of sorrows

It is the beautiful belief that "our present sufferings are not worth comparing

with the glory that will be revealed..." (Romans 8:18)

The dark world around us so desperately needs this truth...as do we.

And if we paused maybe the glimmer inside of us would glow bright enough to catch their eye.

And if we paused maybe they would see hope cast its brilliant light

into the darkest places of our own complex universes

and know the light was indeed TRUE.

If we paused maybe we could become

A Living Invitation

To walk in the wide grace of forgiveness

To behold the beauty of redemption

To breathe every breath with the hope of eternity

"But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display

in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge

of Him in every place. For to God we are the fragrance

of Christ among those who are being saved

and among those who are perishing."

2 Corinthians 2:14-15

And the invitation is NOT an obligation

The invitation is NOT an action item conquered and crossed off of our scripted lists

The invitation is NOT an accessory to our own agenda

The invitation is a call to love.

A RESPONSE to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Because there is a difference between feeling obligated and being compelled

by the overwhelming and inconceivable love of God shown to us through Christ Jesus.

Our life is a response.

Our time is a response

Our sacrifice is a response

And still...our community...and the world around us waits.

Hovering over the scripted plans of daily living there is a voice.

It is the voice of love

It is the whisper of compassion

It is the song of hope

Calling out in the noise of life.


Let it be silenced no more.