Friday, October 18, 2013

My thoughts runneth over

I am not running this week,
     but left-over thoughts from the marathon
                           runneth over.

I stood waiting for the race to start,
wrapped in an old ratty sweatshirt,
shivering just a little bit.
And I thought about in the weeks before the race
how I feared and dreaded the thought of
           this pre-marathon chill.
And in reality, it wasn't so bad at all.
"I was scared of this?"  I shook my head in disbelief.
Fear does that to you.
It creates phantoms that don't even show up,
       inflatable monsters of my own imagination.

And as I looked before me
               and behind me,
I saw people,
45,000 runners around me,
         up on my tip toes,
           precious people as far as I could see.
Love others,
          Jesus said.
Love others for no other reason
             or motivation
     but to love them.
LORD, show me how.
                       "I did," He says.

A few miles into the marathon,
      I saw a sign that said,
"Pain is weakness leaving the body."
I chuckled.
But I thought that even more,
     "Love is selfishness leaving your heart."
Every kindness,
every grace,
every letting go of the bitterness,
          is not just a random action,
but a pushing back the darkness
         and manifesting His light to the world.

The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
                                   John 1.5
And never will.

And then,
    at almost every mile-marker,
26.2 miles in the making,
smiling strangers handed out water,
       bandaging the blistered,
                healing the brokenhearted,
            encouraging the weary.
Who are you?
           I wanted to ask each grace bearer,
    those who for six hours were splashed
                    by lemon-lime Gatorade,
        serving joyfully in such a way
       that His love got all over everyone.
And through these self-less people I learn,
    to live in such a way
        it would make no sense at all
    if it were not for God.

For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me...
...Truly I say to you,
as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren,
                        you did it to Me.

                                 Matthew 25. 35, 40


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