“I found God on the corner of First and Amistad…” I’m not sure what the writers of this song meant by this line, but I know what it has meant to me.
I’ve always longed to see the face of God. I’ve looked in the faces of my family and have seen a glimpse of Him in their eyes, yet the glimpse slips through my fingers and is forgotten like warm summer sand is remembered no more in the midst of a long winter.
I’ve looked in the face of spiritual leaders and have found perfectly flawed men and women, striving to be seen in His image, relying on His grace….and a glimmer of His features are vague, unstable pixels from an other-earthly camera.
But I’ve never seen the face of Jesus as clearly as when I find myself in the middle of this scripture.
I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ (Matthew 25:36 NLT)
As Executive Director of Love INC of Tinley Park I am often given the precious opportunity to peer into Jesus’ eyes in what might seem some very unlikely places…through the eyes of the hungry, the homeless, and the heartbroken.
It is so easy to judge why a person has become who they are, but the most important question in the Love INC process is “How is it that you find yourself in this difficult situation?” …and then we listen. We listen to pain and promise. We hear so much more than the initial need which provoked the phone call. Loneliness, abandonment, betrayal and misdirection reveal themselves in the stories told. It is then that we can go to work. We can go to work because we have allowed the person to become more than a client with a current need. They are now a living, breathing, feeling person with a past, present and future. They aren’t an empty pantry or an unpaid light bill, instead they are a lonely seventy-five year old man who hasn’t seen his daughters for over fifty years; Or a woman who has had the courage to start over again after her abusive husband pushed her down the stairs; or the family who has just recovered from Mom having cancer treatment just to find out that their son has a brain tumor.
It is in their eyes that I see Jesus, because He told me that when I am serving them I am serving Him. It is where I found God…my corner of First and Amistad.