|[Image by iladnaar on Flickr]|
As Halima trudged down 31st & Henry street, she noticed the wind was blowing in an odd fashion today. Very odd, actually. Haphazardly, as though it did not know where it wanted to go. Leaves and sediments from the road rose and fell in the same breath, just as the clouds suddenly broke loose and the first raindrops of the day rattled down.
She looked down on the blue sequinned blouse she'd ironed not less than ten minutes ago. It was starting to get wet. What was the point? Perhaps she'd chosen the wrong day to make the right move. She told herself to stop doubting the decision and keep walking. Luckily, she only had a couple of blocks left to go and she would be there. She shouldn't change her mind and walk back to her apartment.
As she was trying to decide whether to make a dash for it or just keep walking at the same slow pace despite the onslaught of rain, a young man (couldn't have been more than twenty-five maybe) rushed to her side and put his gigantic grey-and-white striped umbrella over her head.
"I'm going down the next couple of blocks," he said, "I don't mind sharing. This umbrella is too big for one person anyway."
When it seemed like he wasn't going to take no for an answer, she mumbled a brisk 'thank you, I'm going down a couple of blocks too,' and kept walking, now with this guy in such close proximity. She didn't even know his first name. In her head, she was thinking, 'saviour.'
Soon they were there, at the last house on 31st & Henry. She turned to let him know she'd reached her destination, but he beat her to it, "I guess it's good-bye now. I've reached my stop," he said. How weird! They were going to the same place. "Well, it's my lucky day," Halima responded, "here's where I end my walk as well." The guy gave a grim smile and they both entered the building. He opened the door to let her go first. Squeaky door. Scary sound.
Same room number too. Room 10. They slipped into the back row. Five minutes late. Meeting already in session.
"Hi, I am Sandra," a woman in the front row was saying, introducing herself to the group, "...and I am...a recovering alcoholic."
"Hi, Sandra," everyone answered.
"Hello, my name is Stephan...and I am a recovering user. Been clean for three months."
"Hey, Richie here...I've come because my wife asked me to."
People kept introducing themselves and why they were here. It was getting to Halima's turn. She side-glanced at umbrella guy to her right, he seemed pretty confident in whatever reason he was here for. Was she sure she could do this?
It was umbrella guy's turn. "Hi, I'm Jide. I've been in this area for three years now. I'm just here to give my encouragement."
She knew it! Nothing was wrong with umbrella guy.
She stood up slowly, hoping nobody noticed how nervous she looked. "Hello everyone. I'm Halima, and I just got out of jail last month. This is a very big step for me."
"Hi, Halima." Just like that, the confession was over. As much as she didn't like saying that, she felt different once she admitted to who she'd been in her past. A liar and a thief. Something about the atmosphere felt warm. Inviting. Accepting. Right here, in this small tightly-knit community, she finally felt like she was home.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved," Romans 10:13 (KJV)
The Whosoever People. I belong to this group, and you may not know it, but I can assure you that you do too. Whosoever. Regardless of where you were born, what circumstances you were born into, the kind of parents you have, your race, your culture, your language, and your idiosyncratic views on life. It doesn't really matter to God.
What matters is that from this moment on, you choose LIFE. That, in spite of all you are and all you've done, you realize (like David did in Psalm 22:9-10) that, "He took you out of the womb, He made you trust while on your mother's breasts...and from your mother's womb, He has been your God."
When you come to that realization, the barriers of cultures, circumstances and sin break down to reveal only one thing: CHRIST. He is all we will ever need.
Many of us look down on others, and still others look down on us. Who's looking down on who? Each one of us was carefully knit in the womb, specially designed and orchestrated for something so profound in this world. You were not brought here to be ordinary but extraordinary. Made in the image of a miracle-working God and covered by the blood of His son.
The next time you try to classify who or what you are, I encourage you to start with, "Whosoever," because under this broad category, we are all ONE. From this broad title, if we are willing, the Holy Spirit will help us identify the SPECIFIC purpose we are meant to fulfil. But it starts by accepting the person across from you in the room. It starts by realizing that because we all think differently does not mean there are superiors and inferiors. It starts by accepting to walk in the right track, and there is only way to learn to walk right, by believing in the One who made you like Himself. Just believe and start from there.
Are you searching for your identity today? Run to the room where God is seated on the throne waiting to profusely bless the 'Whosoever People.' Aren't you glad you belong?