Where Did You See Jesus?

This post was originally written on December 7, 2013 

That was the question that was asked at our team debrief tonight. For me it was a moment in time on Thursday when we visited some of the houses we had previously built.

In 2011, the year of never ending rain and inescapable mud, we met a few people. Some of their follow up stories have already been written, but here's where I saw Jesus:

We spoke to a woman, who had three young children. Two years ago, the youngest was just a baby. Her husband had recently left her, telling her that he wasn't coming back. She wasn't angry or resentful, she was determined, but hopeful…how much hope would you have?

I remember sitting at lunch one day, the rain had stopped long enough for the community to set up a table, bring out chairs and share a lunch with the locals. While some were eating others were turning a rope and taking turns jumping in and out. Into the despair and the drudgery that could easily take over, there was joy, laughter and communion.

I remember thinking of a verse: Psalm 23:5 "You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies." I remember thinking "does that even make sense?" The enemies of poverty, oppression, rejection, hopelessness and mistrust were so prevalent. How could God do invite us to spend time with Him there? Why would He want to? Why should we go?

Back to this Thursday, the day I saw Jesus so clearly: Here we are standing in front of this same woman, her children are dressed well, they are clean, her home (that we built) immaculate. However the most impressive thing was her resolve. Two years ago it was a glimmer, now it could light up a night sky. And in that moment, the Lord reminded me of that same verse, of the table that was prepared and how we all are invited to it.

And then He reminded me of the rest: "You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

We had gone to build a house, but instead were reminded that we belong to God's house where Jesus welcomes us to His table. By sharing time at the table with this community, in the tension of their cultural, economic and personal enemies, we had seen the truth of God come alive. By taking time to reestablish our relationship we were humbled that she remembered us, was thankful for us and longed to tell us of how her life had changed.

It was one just one of the moments where I saw Jesus.