When it comes to music, just about anything is fair game in the making of that music, even a couple of institutional size tin cans. That’s what Benny* was using on Broadway. He was sitting on the sidewalk with his “drums” positioned in front of him, tapping and singing. We introduced ourselves to each other, and he told me he was from another state. He sang me a song and then asked me my name and told me he was from Louisiana as if our first interaction had never happened. I asked some more questions and he told me he left his hometown many years previous because “they wanted to lynch him.” He then told me his name was Benny and asked, “What’s your name?”
I wondered about all the stories this man had trapped behind his mental illness, but no less real. He’s a human being and yet I wondered how often he was treated as such in Louisiana and here on Broadway. I wondered for him and for all the others on the streets, and I felt sorrow on behalf of them as well. It is really hard to cope and hope in the midst of injustice, tragedy, and suffering, and I’m a Christian. I can’t even begin to understand having to live, much less cope with life without Him.
Think about it, should you be asked, “Is life hard?” Given that though I don’t know your life stories, I would still guess that many if not most of you would answer “yes.” And you know Jesus. If life is hard with Him, imagine how hard it must for those without Him. Thankfully for those of us who know and are known by Him we can know our sorrows and heartaches are held by Him, so in that we can hold the sorrows and heartaches of others, and we can pray for them to know the comfort, peace, and grace of our Lord.
On this Good Friday, will you sorrow for the lost? Will you remember the goodness of this day and our God and wish and pray that goodness to be known and experienced by those who have yet to come to know Him? Will you not dam the flow of living water to end in your life, but will you allow it to flow into the lives of others? How will you demonstrate the love you have received by dying to yourself for others? I ask myself these questions and I hope you too will truly contemplate the meaning of this day and our lives in Him.
*Name has been changed