We are happily enjoying Paris. There is one thing we have to adjust to … people in your space. If you are a person from a major city with a major line of transportation that does not involve a personal vehicle, you know what I’m talking about.
For those of us from a suburb or from an area outside of town, we are used to riding in our own vehicle and breathing our own air. Sharing is not something Americans do well. Typically.
Being pressed into a tube of metal that is riding through the city at 40 kilometers an hour is an experience we all should share at one point in our lives. In the Metro you have to touch other people. You have to breath the same air. You have to find a way to live together for about 3 minutes, or longer. You also get to make eye contact with other people . . . that aren’t like you.
That’s a long time if you are not comfortable being in the same space with someone else. I remember as a part of a night of songs and worship, the church I worked for had a planning meeting and decided to have a time of silence after one of the songs to allow for a time to reflect on God.
For 120 seconds.
Quiet in a space that consists of 1500 people is highly unlikely. For about 30 seconds there was silence . . . along with the synthesizer in the back ground to fill the empty space with something.
2 minutes later, there was a rise into the next song of praise. My point is, it is difficult to be silent.
For 3 minutes on a train, we are able to dismiss uncomfortable feelings knowing our stop is coming up. We are able to get off and move on to our next destination.
So we can bear 3 minutes ourselves.
But what about a lifetime?
Christ has asked us to deny ourselves and love others for the entirety of our earthly lives. Is that possible? Is that realistic?
Bottom line: it doesn’t matter.
Our lifetime is His. However long the train ride. 3 minutes, or until the final terminal.
Then there’s that strange time when you enter the train and you make eye contact with the other passengers. Your eyes say so much. But mostly they ask for a sharing of space. We make eye contact with the proposition to share.
And so it is with Christ. Seeing each other in Christ and looking to each other, we are asking if we can share. Share the most valuable space in time, the expression of Christ.
This space provides mutual opportunity, mutual love, mutual patience, mutual service, mutual edification . . . mutual. As we come together and look at the Christ in us, we are able to see the best part of creation, the best details on the planet!
As we look to Him, we are able to be perfected in Him, corporately.
But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:15-18 NASB)
On this journey through Europe, and as we have taken trains all over the country side and in the cities, we have seen something that we cannot see in America. We have seen another expression of Christ, another part of His Face.
May we behold His glory through His Face, which is the face of each of us as we continue to express Christ together. May we jump on the Metro, which is Christ. May we be squeezed together with our brothers and sisters in a way that may be uncomfortable for a time, remembering we are headed the same direction, going through the same stops and the same paths for the same destination.