Do you ever have a memory that comes flooding back out of the blue?
This morning, I remembered how my two older brothers used to play catch on our front lawn on Miami Lane in Des Plaines, Illinois. I designated myself as the “monkey in the middle,” vainly trying to participate in their game of catch. I say "vainly" because they really just wanted to play catch with each other, but my tender, nine year old heart wanted to be included in anything my effortlessly cool older brothers did, so I did what most gregarious nine year olds would do - I forced myself into the middle of their game so they’d have to notice and hopefully include me. (It never worked.)
I’m a middle child - two older brothers and one younger brother, with enough of an age gap that really only my younger brother and I ever actually played together when we were kids. To my older brothers, I was mostly an annoyance….well, until we all got older. (My brothers and I all eventually became friends as we grew up.)
Strange how certain memories pop back into our minds unexpectedly and in full color.
I was sitting on our blue couch, quietly nestled beside our glowing Christmas tree early this morning, thinking about this inherent desire to be noticed, to be appreciated, to be deemed significant. I’m no longer young but not really old (middle aged?), and yet I can still feel this desire poking through my soul like a tenacious dandelion triumphantly emerging through a crack in a sidewalk, a unique combination of sunny yellow flower and annoying weed, hardy and flexible enough to be fashioned into a summer crown but exasperatingly virulent enough to ‘infest’ a backyard.
I was thinking about how I still have moments when I feel like that little girl, jumping up and down in the middle of a game with my arms waving, hoping someone, anyone, would acknowledge me and invite me to play with them. Feeling like I have something significant to contribute, but not always feeling like I’m truly seen. I can get caught up in those thoughts. Thoughts that cloud my vision so I only see my deepening crows feet or expanded waist line in the mirror. Thoughts that condemn, beat down, and remind me of how insignificant and tiny I am in life’s grand scape.
Like an unexpected burst of peace in the midst of a storm, His voice interrupts and awakens me, compelling my eyes to find the Source. The One who chose me, who called me, who still calls me. I see my reflection in His fiery, holy, kind eyes. I glimpse my raiment, freshly stunned by His ring of authority on my finger, His bright sword in my hand. His voice reminds me who I am, whose I am.
He's not just aware of you and me, He’s with us. Emmanuel. He wants to do life with us. He pitches us the ball, teaches us how to catch, takes our hand into His and demonstrates how to throw. He even provides others around us who are also learning how to play.
I am so thankful to know the One who calls my name. He legitimately knows my name. Knows my inmost being. Knows my weaknesses and my sin and yet still chooses me. His power is actually perfected in my weakness. Jesus knows me. He loves me.
I don’t know where you’re at today. Maybe you feel ignored or forgotten. Stuck. Weak. Defeated. Too old. Too young. Inexperienced. Waiting.
Take a moment and listen. Jesus is calling you. Not just the people around you “with the ball.” He’s calling YOU. The Game-Changer has come and He’s calling you, inviting you to His game. Don’t worry about not feeling qualified. He qualifies. Don’t worry about not knowing all of the rules of the game. He makes the rules. Don’t worry about not being good enough. He’s good enough for all of us.
He has come and that changes EVERYTHING.