Victory vs Winning

I was in the grocery store, a small place in the inner city.  I noticed an old white man, well dressed and creeping along with the help of a walker.  I was in one of two very long lines that seemed to barely move.  I chatted briefly with the lady in front of me who had just a few items.  I had only two items and the elderly gentleman had one.  Another lady who was still shopping trying to move through the wrapping lines saw this old man and began to speak loudly across the lines to the checkout attendant, “Let this man through, he only has one item.  Come around here sir”, she said.  The Checkout clerk motioned and she checked him out through a closed isle behind her.  I was in awe of this lady’s boldness and I felt shame for having done nothing myself.  I thought how this act of kindness called for courage against the systems and processes that often regulate our misery.

Some losers may be preparing themselves for victory, but not for a hollow win, something much deeper that may have nothing to do with winning.  These are the currents of Providence at work, moving, shaping, arranging, and conforming seemingly random, even harsh or cruel circumstances to purpose; a design that yields eternal significance which is hardly visible in this temporal world as it passes away.

Actually, it is love, the essence of human desire.  The most well-known, instinctively understood power on earth that transcends words, eludes any complete definition and is both everywhere and so far away that songs, poetry, stories and every form of expression calls out with yearning for more.  Still, we see it in simple and profound acts, gestures, smiles and empathy demonstrated in countless manners.  Love is the path to victory and it can trample across every other path, most often those of this world that seem to lead straight to good, but fall short or twist around in selfishness.

So often the thing that seems to be our greatest barrier and struggle is part of the solution – the potters hands applying pressure to soften and form the dry clay into a shape that will display the beautiful and useful design intended.  This requires faith to see and know, but we are not abandoned though it may look and feel so.  There is within each of us a beauty and gift born of love and though all the voices around speak of our failure, loss, unworthiness and ugliness – it’s a lie.  May you and I set our affections on the one perfect person who tread the way of suffering and prevailed to gain victory and glory for all who believe.

And Jesus said “Come to the water Stand by my side

I know you are thirsty You won’t be denied

I felt every teardrop When in darkness you cried

And I strove to remind you That for those tears I died.”

(“For those tears I died”, Children of the day.).

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