Kansas City, MO
I was sitting out by a water fountain just beyond the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, MO, when I noticed a man, barefoot and walking in the knee-high deep, rich blue water. He was fishing for coins, and looked frazzled and frustrated with his findings (or the lack thereof). He wasn't disturbing anybody or begging for money. His shoulder length dirty blonde hair and thin body resembled that of the white Jesus of the Renaissance paintings, or a 20th century "Hollywood Jesus." But this man, the wanderer, walked in water--not on it--and certainly didn't look like the well put-together, commercialized Jesus we know. His thinness bordered frailty, his mind seemed absent from his body, his clothes, ragged.
The good man touched the wanderer's back with a gentle confidence, and he appeared to be praying with/for the wanderer, sharing love, or speaking life into him. After about 5 minutes of what seemed like a one-sided conversation (at least verbally), the good man handed over the money and the two parted ways. The wanderer, looking amazed, slowly gathered his things and left the fountain. His fishing for coins yielded for more than he'd expected, I'm sure.
I don't know what the wanderer's relationship with God is, or if there is a relationship at all; but as a believer, I've witnessed God do exceedingly and abundantly above all I've ever asked or prayed about. I, too, have been a fisher of coins--in love, my career--and right when my frustrations begin to take over, God delivers the amazing and the unimaginable! Moreover, the delivery comes in packages that we're not expecting, in areas that we're not searching, and in people or things we might otherwise dismiss. That's God.
"I don't know what kind of ministry just took place here on this fountain's ledge," I thought, "but I do know that this act of kindness and patience had Jesus written all over it."
I sometimes look for Jesus in random people that I cross paths with. Jesus could've been the good man; it would be assumed. Yet, I strangely couldn't help thinking that Jesus could've very well been the dirty, frazzled wanderer. We don't know the many forms in which God enters the universe. I do believe that the wanderer opened the door for the good man to publicly display an example of the infinite possibilities of what it means to follow Christ. I do also believe that the good man opened the door for the wanderer to get a taste of what it means to love thy neighbor as thyself.
God is in everything and everyone. I somehow selfishly believe that I was put in Kansas City--in that park, on that bench, by that fountain--to witness the love of Christ and the love of God just one more time. What I saw at the fountain reminded me of who I am as an heir, and joint heir with Jesus, to the kingdom of God. I am inspired to continue giving, speaking, and being love in every waking moment of my journey.
That was my church for the day.
Let the church say Amen!