Views from Two Windows

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About five years ago, I took a group of college students with the campus ministries department on a mission trip to Jamaica.  Now, I know what you’re thinking….a mission trip to Jamaica must’ve been nice….really roughing it, huh?….more like cushion trip.  I would have thought the same things if I had not been a part of this group.  Our plane landed in Montego Bay, one of the “vacation spots” on Jamaica’s island.  Montego Bay takes the vacation experience to a whole new level with their lovely resorts.  However, we had not reserved a room in any of these high class spots.  We weren’t even staying in a hotel.  Our group was picked up by a couple of 15-passenger vans and we drove over an hour to a town far off the beating path where a house awaited our group.

This post is unrelated to the mission that our group participated in while on this trip, but rather the scene that I saw on that long drive to the small town.  As we traveled through Montego Bay I glanced to my left and watched in amazement at the huge resorts that sat on the beach as we passed them by.  My eyes could have been so distracted gazing at these beautiful venues that I forgot to take in the rest of my surroundings.  However, as we drove I noticed something that was very hard to miss.  Out my right window, directly across the street from these fabulous resorts, was poverty.  The beaten down shacks that paled in comparison to the grandiose buildings out their front windows (holes in the wall) represented a community of native people who had seen tough times.  And yet, across their front yards (the dirt filled spaces) were people who had come to their town seeking a stress-free, adventure-filled, luxurious vacation.  Two very different scenes joined by this road we travelled on.

Is there anything wrong with the luxurious vacation?  No.  This scene wasn’t to me even about rich or poor.  As we got out of the big city and into a much quieter area of Jamaica, I couldn’t forget the two complete opposites that I had just witnessed.  God was speaking to me on that long drive about me.

The two scenes represented my own life….not financially, but spiritually.  They were indicators of how we as Christians can carry on two very opposite ideas of who we are to those looking in.  Two (or more) perceived personas that represent varying thoughts of what we represent in this life.

In James chapter 3, these verses explain how fresh water cannot come from a salty spring, nor can blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth.  I am very guilty of showing differing sides of me while claiming to represent the One who is in me.

The difference between me and that long road I was traveling on is that there is no road in the middle to connect my opposing ideas of who I am and Whose I am.  I have to choose either one side or the other.  I cannot drive down the middle of the road because James says blessing and cursing cannot come out of the same mouth.  I must choose which side of the road I want to be on.  As a Christian, my salvation is sure.  As a sinner, my mistakes are eminent.  However, that vision of the road will ever remind me to strive for blessing instead of cursing, love instead of indifference, forgiveness instead of hostility.  I don’t want people passing me by to gaze upon the differing scenes I present in my life.  But my prayer is that I’m daily becoming a more pure representation of the journey Christ is taking me on.

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 22, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Amen, Jill! Let us not be “stuck in the middle” as we traverse this life of service to which we have been called!

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