As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him… Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us while He talked to us?” Luke 24: 15,16,31, 32
I was sick last week, nothing major, just a common cold. But it drained me, leaving me cranky and short-tempered (It’s so humiliating that this is such a common theme for me.). I tried to take it easy, get lots of sleep, and keep my patience with my kids, but I wasn’t completely successful.
For the life of me, I can’t remember what my kids did, or what my reaction was, but I have this hazy head-cold recollection of yelling at them, and creating a heavy atmosphere in my house. Where the pictures gets clear is when Jocelyn came up from behind me, wrapped her little arms around my leg, looked up at me, and simply said, “Mommy, I love you.” It was the exact thing, at the exact time, that I needed to make our world right again.
In this scripture passage, two of Jesus’ followers are walking on the road to Emmaus after Jesus has been crucified. In their haze of grief, they don’t recognize the resurrected Jesus as He joins them on their way. They spend the entire day with Him as he explains the scriptures to them. It isn’t until that evening, when Jesus breaks the bread at dinner, that their vision gets clear, and they finally see Jesus for who He is. It’s then that they look back and remember that their hearts had burned within them when Jesus had talked to them on the road.
Now that I look back on that moment in my kitchen, I remember my heart burning within me as Jocelyn hugged my leg and told me that she loved me. My eyes are now opened to recognize that it was Jesus appearing to me, giving me what I needed, through my daughter. What a gift – one that I only half unwrapped because I wasn’t aware of The Giver.
It makes me wonder how many other times Jesus has appeared to me, but I kept myself from recognizing Him. I know God works through those around us, and through the different and ordinary events that take place in our lives. But with so much on my plate, I move too fast. I have so many balls up in the air, that if I don’t, they’ll all come crashing down around me. It saddens me to think that my busyness is probably what keeps my vision hazy to all the other times Jesus has appeared to me through others.
I need to slow down. I need to open myself up. I need to pray for that clear vision to see Jesus when He appears to me next. Because I have no doubt that He will. I believe He appears to all of us, all the time, and in different forms.
It’s rather exciting, if you think about it: wondering when Jesus will appear next, and through whom. It’s far more fun than the game of “Where’s Waldo,” because when we do spot Him, the reward is an enormous dose of wonder and awe that makes life shimmer!
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