Eyes Half Open

I overheard the strangest conversation at Starbucks today. Two 50ish world-worn men sat with their coffee in the corner, in what at first appeared to be some kind of business meeting with folders and a binder sitting next to their cups. I heard snippets of conversation, something about calling CNN and investigations and trials. While waiting for my tall toffee-nut latte, my eavesdropping (if you could call it that, as they made no attempt to whisper) revealed that one of the men was trying to come to terms with his grandfather’s untimely and tragic murder some years ago.

I sat down with my latte and my Bible at the table farthest away, because I went to Starbucks to study God’s word about hope, not to listen to some personal story however compelling it may be. But strong words continued to drift my way — words like closure, random luck of the draw, wrong place at the wrong time. Gun shot wounds. Bullet fragments. The WHAT and WHEN and HOW questions of a family’s tragedy muddled up in the cold language of court reports, explosive wrenching pain of lives separated through death and sin. I listened with a curious, quiet empathy — all the while scanning Scripture for verses about hope.

Then the conversation turned somehow to personal exploits, and the same man who remained bewildered by his grandfather’s murder recounted with a chuckle the time he had a one-night stand with some hot woman from California and lied to his wife about it. When she found out, she confronted him and even punched him, but he continued to lie and she eventually believed his story. As the two men tossed their empty cups in the trash I heard him mutter something about even so, it was worth that one great evening. My empathy had long since been replaced by sadness.

I find it interesting that in a span of 30 minutes, this man recalled with near agony the pain caused to him by someone else’s sin and then tells the thrill of his own with no remorse for the pain he caused others. What is it about the human heart that so easily finds sin? But maybe I’m not so different. Try as I might, I still struggle with pride, arrogance, anger, bitterness, self-centeredness, fear, and the list goes on. The collateral damage of our lives piles up fairly quickly, don’t you think?

As humans we have no hope outside of Jesus. If you have been going through life as if sin doesn’t matter, your eyes are only half open.

The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light… clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 13:11-12, 14.

7 thoughts on “Eyes Half Open

  1. “Try as I might, I still struggle with pride, arrogance, anger, bitterness, self-centeredness, fear, and the list goes on….”

    So, do I.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a skunk and it’s only the grace of God which keeps me from smelling too bad around other people….most of the time.

    But thank God, Christian maturity does not necessarily mean a journey without making mistakes, instead it is one where we are convicted by the Holy spirit, quickly repent and keep on walking.

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  2. thanks Anna. I wonder if this poor gent doesn’t need someone praying for him and his marriage, for the couple remains in darkness, deception never brings healing…

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  3. you certainly found what you were looking for…
    hope… that is…
    if we were perfect, we wouldn’t need it. The process of sancitification will put us under the fire until we die… tempting us with the very things we tend to fall victim to until God sees Himself in us….

    this is an awesomely told story, I wonder how this ‘book’ of yours will pull together…. : )

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  4. Hi Anna,
    I know at times people in the church do wonder if in fact they are saved at all, because they carry so much baggage. As you say, struggling with bitterness, self-centredness etc, and yet I have come to know this, that it is these ones who are most likely His, it is these ones who have been granted the light of Christ, that they recognise what they were before Christ. Totally blind and lost and without any sense of truth as to their nature.
    As for me I’m learning to rejoice in this, to not kick myself too hard, but as much as possible be encouraged that He desires to deal with us on this level.
    I have been praying for some weeks that the Lord would show me those areas in my life where I am guilty of hypocrisy. It is staggering to me how often I have seen things concerning this.
    We are such incredibly complicated creatures, without His light we are without hope and staggering in the dark.
    Bless you.
    Tim

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