Monday, July 20, 2015

Jesus in the Lobby

Toward the end of a recent month long stay in a Houston, Texas hotel, I decided on a foot journey across the two story high walk-way to the Houston Methodist Hospital.  What I really had in mind was checking out the cafeteria.  All the places which had been providing our culinary fare had gone from good to average to "can't eat there one more time."  When such a state of mind is reached, even a hospital cafeteria holds out hope.  On my hunt for something to feed my stomach, I unexpectedly found something which fed my soul. 

What I saw in the lobby of the Houston Methodist Hospital was a larger-than-life statue of Jesus standing before a woman who was kneeling at His feet.  The sight stopped me in my tracks.  It took my breath away.  It caused a tightening in my throat and brought tears to my eyes.  While all the world hurried on by doing its business, I stood there transfixed and suddenly full of a spirit of adoration and worship.  I later learned both the name of the artist and the name of the piece of art, but in that moment of epiphany like worship, I knew the statue was about Jesus reaching out to heal a woman.  But, it was more than just religious art.  There in the busy hospital lobby, it became a spiritual visualization of the prayer that was consuming my heart. 

What some might proclaim as coincidence and what others might say was a "projection of my own needs on an inanimate object" was actually one of those moments in the long history of God when He makes Himself known in a totally unexpected and surprising way.  How that image of Jesus and the woman got there in that hospital lobby was interesting to learn, but the way it was used by God to turn my despair into hope in a faith restoring kind of way was both powerful and unforgettable.  As I reflect on that single moment, I cannot help but wonder if that Chinese sculptor ever thinks about the number of folks like me who have seen his visual creation of Jesus and been stopped in their tracks and held in God's care.

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