Saturday, March 28, 2015

Crossing the Path

Just beyond the open gate
began a straight and narrow path
that prompted me to watch and wait
and whisper to myself: “He that hath
the Son hath life, and he that hath not…”
Thinking back, I saw the leper’s limb,
the blind man’s eyes, the empty cot
of one who walked because of Him.
I saw a desperate woman in the crowd
who having merely touched His hem
was healed and trembling cried aloud.
His perception and power amazed them
there as did his scribbling in the sand
the day the stones dropped to the ground.
When left alone, His outstretched hand
raised the woman to her feet and found
her uncondemned to go and sin no more.
Divine encounters all, cloaked in interruption
to Him who said, “Behold, I stand at the door
and knock,” yet He enters at His will so corruption,
sin, death and disease are met not with wrath
but mercy that, by faith, removes the dross
in that moment when we cross the path
that led Him…and leads us… to the cross.
© 3-22-15 Tom Kapanka

Back when I was writing more regularly, I tried to provide a special post or poem each Easter with embedded links  that give context to each image. (Links can be seen by clicking on the gold-colored words above.)

These thoughts were prompted by a sermon and a note from a friend who reminded me that God always has a purpose for making paths cross. I have said phrases like "crossed my path" all my life. It typically means that the encounter was happenstance or unplanned. But when I saw the phrase in my friend's note, I saw the double meaning of "cross," and how Christ changed the lives of those who crossed his path (which was in fact a path that led ultimately to the cross).

There are many other illustrations of this truth. To name just a few more: think of how Jesus treated the CenturionMary and Martha, and tax collectors who crossed his path. From a human perspective, nearly all of these divine encounters with Jesus were "interruptions." This does not mean they were not part of the plan or that they caused our Lord to stray from His path or lose focus, for indeed, his path--his purpose--was to encounter people and change their lives. It happened again and again during His earthly ministry and happens still today.

At CCS, we try to respect each other's time, we try to make appointments with teachers, etc. rather than just stopping them in the hall or at church, etc. Even so, we know there will always be "people interruptions" that come through our door or across our path. The same is probably true for everyone in every work place.

When this happens, how do you view those opportunities to reflect Christ? May these thoughts be a reminder to follow Christ's example regarding those who cross our path, even if they do not share our perspective (or even our best interest).

I heard a pastor say recently that 40% of our Lord's recorded ministry was initiated by an "interruption." In the case of Matthew, the tax collector, Jesus initiated the interruption by simply saying "follow me" as he passed.

Today He asks the same of all who claim to have crossed His path.

Have a wonderful Holy Week and Spring Break!

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