“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
“It ain’t easy being cheesy”-that was the opening line from the closing ceremony of a Kairos last Sunday from an inmate who was talking about new faith and our call to sometimes be different than the crowd-yes sometimes cheesy. He was speaking to hardened prisoners who had spent many years in an institution that doesn’t often reward softness, gentleness, and kindness.
We do things like take care of people who don’t often deserve to be taken care of. That’s pretty cheesy.
We do things like pray feverishly for people we care about and even those we don’t much like. That too is pretty cheesy.
We do things like care when people are being marginalized, abused, bullied, and otherwise treated horribly. That, my friends, is pretty cheesy.
That prisoner was absolutely right-It ain’t easy being cheesy.
What other people consider being cheesy-we consider being good people, caring people, hopeful people, and loving people.
We can be ridiculed and taunted.
Atheists will claim that they know with certainty that we are wasting our time.
We know, however, that we are beloved children of God and as Paul is telling the Philippians in our scripture reading today-God uses us to fulfill his good purposes.
I was impressed with all the inmates who shared about their experiences having gone through Kairos. Their stories were heartfelt and in many cases heartbreaking. Few of us have to go through life feeling completely unloved by the world around us-parents, siblings, grandparents, neighbors. Many of the inmates, however, have felt that way most of their lives-until this past weekend. They shared their experiences of seeing the prayer chain with all the names of people across the world who committed to pray for them, including our church members.
May we continue to be a beacon of light for those how only know darkness. May God continue to use all of us to fulfill his good purpose through our will to do good as well as our ability to do good. It ain’t easy being cheesy but guess what-it’s only cheesy standing on the other side.
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
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La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
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