Karl Ingraham – Mesa Worship Leader
There’s this “older” gentlemen sitting right next to me at Starbucks. Right now as I’m writing. He’s reading a book, but he wants to talk. I know it. Inside I want to talk to him but on the outside I’m making sure that we don’t speak. Welcome to the world of an introvert. Welcome to my world.
My wife talks to anyone, anywhere, while I standby and remain silent. She’s fearless, or maybe she’s just normal. I’m not normal. I hate it. My heart screams as loud as it can, “stop being a coward and say hello”. My body freezes. Second guesses.
Last week Craig Gross joined us for a talk he called Jesus Loves You. Guys like this inspire me to change. Fearless guys who love God and take chances. If you were there you will surely remember the story of Marie, so I won’t retell it. As I sat there I remembered my Marie. Yes, that’s right, not a wheelchair bound lady in Fullerton, CA, but an avid gardener in Mesa right at the entrance of my neighborhood. Everyday she would hear me coming, turn, smile and wave until I was all the way down the street. You think I’m making this up. Here are lyrics written 6 years ago.
Lady down the street. Turn your head wave and greet us. As we pass by today. Has anybody ever kissed you? Or told you how much we miss you? When you’re not there to say. What did you say? Don’t speak to me that way. Don’t hold your hands to pray. Unless you mean it. Don’t use another voice. Don’t leave me any choice. But to believe it must be true. The world’s a better place with you.
My heart was filled with joy by that lady and in 2 years I took every smile, kept it for myself and never stopped once to even ask her name. This song is a tragic reminder of my social fears.
Here’s my point. Jesus loves you. I know it, because I know he loves me. The power of testimony. But does everyone else know it. I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure they don’t. I’m not just a bad neighbor I’m a bad “neighbor”. Jesus asked who’s your neighbor? Answer, the one who did something for the person right there in front of you.
I’m still at Starbucks. The older gentlemen sitting next to me is telling the computer programmer sitting next to both of us all about his life and all about Jesus. He just sat back smiled and said “God is good”. Now he’s gone and I’m still here. Something’s gotta change.