Why a Wheelchair and a Hamburger?
I couldn't for the life of me, roll over and fall asleep. Giving up I tiptoed downstairs for a sip of water. It had been snowing all night, you could feel it in the room. Not that it was cold, but it was still...heavy. Snow has this ability to quiet the night and make it glow. The normal brightness of the street light was subdued making it feel thick in the air. I let it sit heavy on me for a few minutes before wandering back to my bed where sleep finally found me and I had a dream.
I was in a wheelchair. The sun was warm on my face & bright. My mother-n-law pushed me through a parking lot. In my lap, I held a single hamburger. Stopping under a tree, there was a man with his family. They were homeless, hopeless.
"I only have this one hamburger, but you may have it."
Taking the hamburger, he passed it to his children and I asked to pray for him. Laying hands on him, I began to pray and as I did I felt something. I opened my eyes to a crowd of people, hundreds of them, surrounding us. They all were praying, while some sang songs and others spoke in tongues. And I just sat there in my wheelchair.
The vivid pictures of this dream have stuck with me for several weeks. This next month will mark one year since the beginning of the COVID quarantine, a season charged by uncertainty, fear, violence, and political turmoil. I have spent the last year wondering what I should do to make a difference. I have sat down at this computer multiple times with a heavy heart and a desire to speak. Yet every time the Lord has said, "Wait, attend to what I put right in front of you." Words are worth so much but seem so empty as of late. Everyone is yelling something and it seems so very few are listening. So rather than add to the noise, I have sat back and listened. I have tried to take the hand of those right in front of me; family, friends, neighbors. Maybe it's a dinner for a sick friend or a hug & prayer for someone. Sometimes it was just a cheerful wave across the street. All of my efforts seemed small & insignificant.
"So what's the wheelchair all about, Lord?"
"Why am I handicapped?"
I have been frustrated with people's opinions. I have grieved over the unkindness spoken & done; sometimes even in the name of the Lord. I have wanted to fight back, take a stand.
"I don't want to just sit here, Lord!"
I want to stand up and make a difference. I want to be heard. I want to make a change. I want... I want... I want...
And there's my disability...my pride, my sinful nature. Me. My self-life. I feed it with my religiosity and make myself feel good, thinking that I have something to offer. Thinking that my pseudo obedience is pleasing to God. I have sat upon the throne of my heart and it has become a wheelchair.
I was not created to sit on the throne of my own heart. This life is not about me. It is not about me being known. The purpose of this life is to press into the presence of God and to know Him. It is only in the undoing of ourselves and the focusing on God that our spiritual lives can change, which then begets physical change.
And I am not talking about solving the world's problems or meting out social justice. I mean making a difference right where we are at with the people God places right in front of us.
When we can admit the handicap of our sin, and realize that anything we have to offer is as small as a single hamburger for an entire family, then we rely on the greatness of God and what He can do. We can silence our opinions and love the person standing right in front of us. We can pray & point people to the Lord rather than try to change their minds. And if we will do this, then perhaps we will look up and see the Lord high and lifted up, with all the people gathered as one voice before Him.
I will bless the Lord at all times,
His praise shall continually be in my mouth,
My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant
And their faces will never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.