“It’s the people . . . all about the people for me. They are where I find God.”
So I told my new friend from the 7th year, both of us participants in Alicia Chole’s Leadership Investment Intensive. Half-way between her house and mine rests Bellamy Manor and Gardens – a home with a 140 year history, beautifully restored and generously shared with patrons desiring a peaceful getaway. We were two of them, my friend and me. I can’t take credit for the idea; I can only take credit for taking her up on the idea. I’m so glad I did. In doing so, I didn’t just find another friend, I found Jesus . . . in her. A little peace for my journey.
Funny thing, this amazing grace. It stretches some 2000 years down through the landscape of history to unite the lives of those whose hearts are set on holy pilgrimage. My friend and I were strangers to one another prior to 2013, living differently and apart; yet because of that one single moment on a hillside named Calvary, we now live similarly and together, united under the single banner of grace. It doesn’t get more amazing than this.
Certainly, some people find God in the world around them. In a garden or on a seashore. In the mountains and in spring bloom. In the bumping of clouds up above and in the shafts of sunlight that intermittently break through. At a riverbank. In a field of red poppies. A soaring eagle overhead. A fragile chrysalis delicately dangling on tree limb.
A crackling fire.
An afternoon tea.
A room with a view.
All of these, noteworthy nods from God. But for me, these are not where I find him most available, most readily seen. For me, God is found in his people—the walking, living, breathing door-keepers of the kingdom. Those who make gracious entryways for others to step over the threshold from flesh to faith, from mystery to revelation. Those torchbearers who hold God’s light in their eyes and who cast the long shadow of grace onto all who risk standing in mercy’s pathway. They are the eternal pulse of Father God, and in their presence I am reminded that I am not alone. That I am not forgotten. That I am but one amidst a great cloud of witnesses whose knees bow only to the King and whose eyes are fixed on the unseen, counted, and generously collected treasures of the kingdom.
Sister pilgrims. Easter pilgrims. This is what we are. This is who we must be. This is how we should live. In doing so, the collective grace of Calvary continues to stretch outward and carries on the amazing work of the cross.
I’m so honored to have stood in my new friend’s shadow in recent days. She’s a beautiful release of God’s love in this world. I’m so honored to stand in yours as well, friends. You cast the long shadow of grace over my heart; you are where I find God.
Blessed walk to the cross and beyond this week. I’ll meet you on the road, just clear of the tomb. We are not a people without hope. Let us march on accordingly. As always . . .
Peace for the journey,