Well, last nights funeral for Bro James has I think forever changed me. Ernie and I came home so encouraged. Encouraged like we havent felt in months. The kind of encouragement in the Lord that leaves you feeling floaty and light. The kind that leaves you with no guile to be found in your heart. The kind of encouragement that can only come from being saturated with God’s love.
James was homeless when the Lord found him. In his 47 years of living for himself I could imagine all the bridges he burnt in his own family. When they first found out he had died, we didnt think anyone was going to come to his funeral. Seeing his family there with all of us last night something sparked in my heart. His twin sister really touched my heart. There was a point when we showed the video of James surrendering at the altar, that his neice started wailing. Then a lot of his family did. This wasnt the James they knew. This was a James that had been transformed by the Lord. Seeing him testify I imagine was healing for them. Seeing him clean and whole, in his right mind. His dad just wept as well.
But there was something else I heard in those wails. I heard humanity breaking in those wails. I know it sounds weird but I heard hope. Paul Farmer tells a story about a starfish. A man walking on the beach picking up beached starfish and throwing them back into the ocean one at a time. Someone asked him, what are you doing? You cant really think you are making a difference to all the starfish by doing this. The man threw a starfish at that moment and said, “made a difference to that one.”
Thats how in a way I feel about James. The Lord is going to do this one heart at a time. We cant think of humanity as a whole. As some sort of beast to conquer. We have to think of humanity as people.. Everyone needs love. Everyone. I guarantee the way people felt about us as a people when they walked into the funeral last night was different then the way they felt about us when the night was over. We may have built a bridge. We may actually be starting to live the way the Lord intends us to live. It feels very new-testament to me. To feel about other humans the way the Lord intends us to. For our insides to melt for another human being the way it did last night. To be grieved over humanity but to have hope too.
We have hope.
James got into the hearts of a lot of us. Made us change our perspective on life in general. He was a kind man. He was a person. We loved James. James makes me want to live better. He makes me want to be changed more. I would like to live in the feeling of deep saturation in love that I felt last night. Is it possible, Lord?