Thursday, October 1, 2015

My Cardboard Sign

Yesterday I sat at a stoplight after I dropped the children off at school.
There was a  man on the sidewalk with his back to me.    
He had on nice camo pants, a shirt and a ball cap.
He was bent over the bushes, looking for something.
His head was cocked to his shoulder, holding his cell phone.
For some reason, he caught my attention and I continued to watch him, hoping I'd see what he discovered in the bushes!
Then he got off the phone, slipped it into his pocket and turned around to reveal a cardboard sign that read,
"Anything will help."
My light turned green and I left.

The whole scene confused me as though I'd fallen down the rabbit hole
after eating the forbidden cake.
I was a little stunned.
"Is he homeless?"  I thought.
"How does he pay for his cell phone?"
"Where does the bill get sent to?"

Obviously I don't know this man's story.
Perhaps he has a home where he receives his cell phone bills, but he just can't make ends meet.
I have no idea, I just know that the contrast of the scene on the sidewalk puzzled me.
I thought I knew who he was by his clothes, cell phone and his intent on finding the hidden treasure in the bushes.  But then his cardboard sign totally changed what I thought I knew about this man.

When I got home I kept thinking about that man.
Things often are not as they appear.
Our cardboard sign can either reveal our truth, or perpetuate a lie.
We might behave like we have it all together, only to turn around to reveal our cardboard sign that says, "I'm dying inside, help me."
Or we might daily complain, constantly live in "if only...," feel purposeless, insignificant, only to turn around and reveal our cardboard sign that says,
"I have abundant life in Christ because I put my trust in Him."

Such sharp contrasts.
Confusing, puzzling contrasts.

I confess that I'm more like the latter sign holder.
Since the children went back to school I've been a little down and discouraged.  I thought I'd get some clear vision of my purpose now that I have some extra time, but it hasn't come yet. I've been a little bored (dare I say it) and just feeling insignificant.
But all the while, I'm holding a cardboard sign, my reality if you will, that says,


Kind of like that man on the sidewalk, my sign has been hidden to passers-by.  Hidden to me.  My reality and my truth has been face down on the street while I behave in a manner that is completely contrary to my truth.

Today I'm letting go of the lie and holding fast to my cardboard sign.

I have abundant life in Christ because I put my trust in Him and He promised it to me.
I am significant.
I have purpose.

All of that because of Jesus.

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