Oh, God, the places you show up


Mark (not his real name) is still a teenager, I think.

If he were cleaned up a little (okay, a lot), I could picture him sitting at the round table outside at Sonic on a Saturday night with my own teenage daughter and friends, eating chili cheese tots and slurping down a strawberry fruit slush.

Instead, I see him sitting on a stump in Tent City under the overpass playing with a stray mutt. Or at the library to borrow the internet.

Or at Manna House where he’s just as likely to be helping as being one of the helped.

Oh, God, the places you show up!

In homeless teenage boys I don’t expect to find you. Except that I do.

After everyone’s been served one hot meal, we package up extra to-go styrofoam containers with barbecue and cole slaw for Mark.

He gets extras because we know what he’ll do with them: he’ll carry them back on foot to the homeless camp to share with those he takes care of and who take care of him.

I couldn’t have known, Jesus.  

And I don’t know what to do with you there—except to acknowledge I see you and to give you glory for showing up in the most unexpected places and to love you more because of it.

Wherever you want to show up, and in whoever you want to slip into, may I honor you there as holy.

May I keep eyes open to you not only in pastors and Christians authors, in worship leaders and charity CEOS, but also in vagabonds and the disturbed, in the hungry and the least of these.

To see you more is to love you more.
To love you more is to love others more.

On Wednesday night a thunderstorm pops up at Manna House so Mark asks Jeff for a ride. Not back to his tent. But to the library where his friend will be hungry for a meal.

Jeff tells me the story later nonchalantly, but I know better. The cab of his truck became holy ground that night because Jesus was incarnated in two more humans—in my well-groomed (albeit sweaty by then) Christian husband and in our teenaged friend Mark working out his mission in a crazy world.

O, Lord. I see you.

Please grace me to see you more.

* * *

In my year of One Word 2013: Jesus, I never know where he’s going to show up next.

Where have you seen Jesus this past week?


17 thoughts on “Oh, God, the places you show up

  1. Beth

    And you are the “hands and feet” of Christ, Lisa. I love hearing about your adventures in loving people like He loves them and so glad you share them here. It encourages me more and more to do the same. Thanks for this, my friend!

  2. floyd

    The perfect defense as to why we’re here. To see through the eyes of our Father is a gift directly from His heart, Lisa. And the miracle of love that conquers the death of a soul is born yet again and as usual for the Father of all, in the humble setting of two hearts penetrated by Him in a pick up truck… Money can’t buy the peace, love, and joy spent on us by God.

    Beautiful story and heart, Lisa.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Good point, Floyd, that we are to see through the eyes of the Father. Sometimes that thought frightens me because I lack the vision both to see the best of people and the worst of people. I mainly see the outside and my interpretations of their motivation.

      But to try to see everybody through eyes of love and grace? The world might look like a more beautiful place! You’re right that no money can buy the mercy that God lavishes on us.

  3. laura

    I am always humbled by your stories. But this one? It makes me pray for my boys to have eyes like Mark. We are so fortunate. I don’t want them to take these things for granted. You inspire me in so many ways, friend.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know your boys are seeing so much of God through the things you show them, talk about, live out in front of them. They are blessed to have you as their mama.

  4. Mary

    Lisa, I never cease to be amazed at the things and people you encounter and how graciously you deal and accept them. I pray that I have the grace to see Jesus in all the people and places around me. I don’t know why it has taken me so long, but I am going to subscribe by e-mail to your blog…it will make it easier for me to keep up with you my friend!!

    Are you, by any chance, going to Allume in October? If so, we HAVE to meet!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I am not going to Allume, but what fun it would be to meet in person! Maybe next year I’ll go? (I think I said that last year, sadly). I know it will be an awesome time. So glad you’re getting to go!

  5. Mia

    Hi Lisa
    I am so proud of your husband and your son. It is things that come from a heart filled with the love that makes a gift so incredibly precious, don’t you think!
    Much love XX

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, those hearts of love show up in the most amazing places. (And no sons for me–only daughters. God knew I wouldn’t know what to do with boys. ha)

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