There is a tendency in our culture to wait & hear what happens before we’re willing to brave the situation ourselves. We want to know the “who, what, when, where” before we’re ready to give “me, this, now, here.” In a time like this, when the content of the waiting & hearing is unknown and intriguing, it’s comfortable and easy to wait & hear.
And sometimes after waiting we hear that things didn’t go so well. The church didn’t grow. The ministry didn’t last. The people didn’t stay. We are silently relieved that we didn’t waste our time and money on such a “fickle” cause, but say our niceties and act disappointed to the ones that did the hard, dirty work about which we waited to hear.
Because until you’re fully invested in the hard work of the new & risky, you will never feel the ache of brokenness or the thrill of success.
Other times after waiting we hear that things went better than planned. The church is booming. The ministry is thriving. The people are coming in droves. We silently get excited and start wondering how we can get involved. You know, now that most of the kinks are worked out.
More often than not, we still get to experience much of the beauty that happens after we graft ourselves in. We share the excitement and we journey the ups and downs of what is yet to come. It’s never always smooth sailing for anyone or anything. We’re just happy to have made it through the rocky start.
It can be nice to wait & hear. But I’m finding this funny thing about the way Jesus spoke and lived, and it was always in the right now.
He was fully living and deeply loving no matter who or what he countered. He wasn’t prone to give a tidy presentation of what the listener could participate in and then let them decide after they had the chance to think it over. Instead, it usually sounded more like:
“The Kingdom of God is close, and getting closer. I want you to be a part of it… Are you in?”
Instead of “wait & hear” it was “come & see.”
“Wait & hear” is tidy. “Wait & hear” wears a freshly ironed button-down and always tucks his shirt in. “Wait & hear” is polite and unassuming. He always opens the door for a lady and gives his seat up on the bus. “Wait & hear” goes to bed early and wakes up in time for a full breakfast. “Wait & hear” has never experienced heartbreak because he’s never gotten close enough to feel the weight of the fall. He’s never lost anything or anyone, but then again, he hasn’t really risked much either. “Wait & hear” remembers his mother’s birthday, and always goes home for the holidays. He prays for his friends, but sometimes forgets.
“Wait & hear” is predictable.
But things are different for “Come & see.” “Come & see” is messy. Her hair is usually tightly knotted in a bun that sits right on top of her head, because that’s all she had time for that morning. Her jeans are ripped and her make-up is three days old. “Come & see” doesn’t sleep much, but she doesn’t really mind. “Come & see” drinks coffee in the morning, but it’s always on the go. She looks people in the eyes. She holds their hand and asks how they really are. “Come & see” is a dreamer, mostly because she’s seen dreams come true. “Come & see” has felt the pain of a broken heart, both her own, and of the ones she loves. She has mastered the art of “mourning with those who mourn,” and she’s the first to bust out cake and “rejoice with those who rejoice.” “Come & see” doesn’t lock her door because she wants anyone to come at anytime. “Come & see” always has coffee in the cupboard and an extra bed. She’s safe, in a risky kind of way. She’s a fierce lover of life, addicted to grace and overflowing with mercy. She fights on her knees, knowing her sharpest weapon is a plea before the Throne.
“Come & see” is a warrior. And she glimpses glories only dreamed about by “Wait & hear.”
You could live a “Wait & hear” life and still see incredible things happen for the Kingdom of God. He doesn’t reserve glory merely for the risk-takers; it’s everywhere you look, if you really look. You could be safe. You could keep your white picket fence and your 401(k). You could live a “wait & hear” life.
Or, you could “come & see.” Come & see what will first seem like the greatest miracle you could fathom, and then watch Him exceed it over and over and over. Come & see students awaken to the needs of a nation. Come & see reconciliation heal relationships. Come & see dreams fall to pieces, only to be rebuilt with hope and attempted again. You could get dirty in the mess of “right here, right now” and shower that night, only to get dirty all over again the next morning.