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Lenten Devotional – March 25, 2020

Langley Hoyt, YAV

Isaiah 60:17-22; Matthew 9:27-34; Psalm 146 

Seeing in the Dark 

I was sitting on the bus with my headphones in, listening to a politics podcast and feeling worried. As I watched H street pass by through the window, I felt a tap on my forearm. A small, older woman sitting next to me asked if it was going to rain today. It shouldn’t start raining until 6, I said. She said good (she had grocery shopping to do) and asked about tomorrow. I checked my weather app again and said it would be windy. We laughed together about how the wind was probably going to blow us away. I took my headphones out of my ears, reluctant to pause my podcast but not wanting to block this woman out either. As the bus approached her stop, she stood and swayed on the jolting bus and told me she hoped I had a wonderful evening. The interaction left a little smile on my face for several more stops. 

“The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation,” Isaiah 60 says. Isaiah promises the flourishing of God’s people and lays out the image of the Kingdom of God coming to fruition in the world. The Creator will be what illuminates the world around us, brighter and better than the yellow of the sun warming our skin or the gentle moonbeams whispering blue. I yearn to see so freely, so brightly. The good news of Jesus is that we don’t have to wait until we die to experience the kingdom of heaven on earth. 

In Matthew 9, Jesus fulfills the promise laid out in Psalm 146: he gives sight to the blind. God invites us to see in new ways much greater than our physical capacity to see with our eyes. The moment I had with a stranger on the bus was an invitation. I took out my headphones and stepped back from existential worry into a concrete interaction with a woman whose kindness and humor felt like a sunbeam on my dreary gray commute. One became two. We were a mighty nation together on that bus. Once I took out my headphones and refocused my sight on the beloved child of God sitting next to me, I saw the kingdom-light glimmer and expand.

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