God Loves Twinkies

July 14, 2017

In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My disciples. –Luke 14:33

Is it just me or has Western Christianity become a spectator sport? It seems we’ve domesticated our wild, radical Jesus and reduced His call to a Sunday service.

In the book, not a fan., Kyle Idleman writes, “And I think Jesus has a lot of fans these days. Fans who cheer for Him when things are going well, but who walk away when it’s a difficult season. Fans who sit safely in the stands cheering, but they know nothing of the sacrifice and pain of the field. Fans of Jesus who know all about Him, but they don’t know Him.”

There is a difference between being a fan of Jesus and being a follower of Jesus. Click To Tweet

Sometimes life feels like a suit that’s too tight. I want to reflect the unconditional love of Jesus yet I fear my life isn’t much different than anyone else’s. It’s easier to hold on to what I have and know than leap with boldness into the unknown so I continue to do what I’ve always done.

In her book, Bandersnatch, Erika Morrison writes, “We, the incarnation people, too rarely provide culture with Jesus’ radically alternative style of living. Instead of doing what we’ve seen Him doing – putting ourselves at risk, mingling with untouchables, becoming slaves to humanity – we duplicate a religious version of what the world is already achieving: keeping to our own kind.”

My son, Joey understands this kind of living. Here’s one moment I witnessed:

Joey bakes and delivers treats to a convalescent home on Tuesdays. This particular day, he decided to bake brownies.

We entered the grocery store and I noticed a shopping cart full of garbage with something draped over the top. Almost immediately, I realized the something was a dirty, red sleeping bag.

“Don’t touch that” I said as I spotted the owner sitting on a bench not far away. Thin and gaunt, he appeared ancient and toothless. His filthy clothes hung at his sides like tent flaps. I offered a weak smile and followed Joey into the store.

Fifteen minutes later, the man forgotten, we had our ingredients and I went to stand in line. Our usual routine is I stand in line while Joey sits on a bench at the front of the store.

As I finish checking out, I notice Joey sitting next to the owner of the shopping cart. My heart skips a beat – Joey is a vulnerable person – I don’t know this man. What I do know is many homeless people struggle with addiction and/or mental health issues.

Joey sees me, gets up and runs to me, signing “he shook my hand – he’s my friend.” I ask, “you made a friend?” A huge grin splits his face as he nods happily – I am thinking, “do I take him to wash his hands now or wait until I get home?”

The man, watching us, stands and takes a step toward us. “Is this your son?” he asks. I nod. “He’s a special young man.” I nod.

With tears in his eyes, he says, “No one has touched me in months.” My eyes also fill with tears as he asks, “What’s his name?” “Joey” I answer. “Joey, you have a nice day.”

A knot forms in my stomach as I see the kingdom of God go from up there to down here – and realize how wrong my heart is.

I want to bend and stretch, interact and love people the way Jesus did, the way Joey does. To embrace a lifestyle where noticing and loving those the world casts aside isn’t just a moment in a grocery store.

I don’t want to be merely a spectator – I want to live the sweat, tears and sacrifice of the field. I want to be a follower not a fan.

More about Liz

I'm a free spirit. I hate rules and legalism. I love art and nature, music, the beach and dogs. I like to garden, take pictures and read. I tend to speak my mind and have a rip-the-band-aid -off approach to life. (Brace yourself, this might hurt.)

8 Comments
    1. Dear Liz,

      This was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. To God be the glory. May we be more like Jesus – just as your son, Joey, so poignantly demonstrated.

      Much love to you in Christ,
      Emily

      1. Thank you, Emily – to God be the glory. 💕 So grateful God put us in each other’s paths – you are a blessing and I see Jesus in you and your beautiful ministry. Thank you for reading and commenting – it means so much. ❤️❤️

    1. This was a poignant post, Liz. Especially liked the line – the Kingdom went from up there to down here. That’s what following Jesus is all about – bringing the KOG here and now. I like Kyle Idleman, too – his is an authentic voice. Finally, I was wondering about your title and how Twinkies fit in, then I came to the video. Oh my! Terific! I will repost to Twitter. My prayer is the Kingdom become our daily lifestyle. Keep up writing such good messages!

      1. Thank you so much Kathryne for reading and for your wonderful comment. Truly encouraging for me. I’m glad you enjoyed the video – I was obsessed – yes! This is what it looks like to love and follow Jesus. Thank you again for taking the time to comment and encourage me. ❤️

    1. I want to be this person so badly. I want to love the way Jesus loves. And when I read about His love all by myself alone in my bedroom, it seems so simple. But then you go out into the real world an it’s just not what you imagined it to be. Fear sets in. Rude people happen. How dare they be ungrateful? I was being kind!!! I’ve got down the kind, loving part for those who respond the way I think they should. The hard part is the ones who don’t. God is in the process of teaching me to love the ones who are hard and bitter. God is showing me that they were made to be that way by circumstances and pain. Like MLK said. Hate doesn’t conquer hate. Only love can conquer hate. This was quite the timely message for me. I had a woman go off on me at Walmart. I had just asked if I could get past her and boom! I had a crazy woman on my hands. I handled it well but not gonna lie, I’m getting tired of always being the “kind” one. Or being humiliated. Or going out on a limb for people who could care less. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who gets scared when showing God’s love. Or feeling like I’m somehow failing miserably. Thanks again for a wonderful message!

      1. Hi Katt! I am always blessed by your comments and relate to you. People are hard to love. I’m hard to love. God is showing me the people who get under my skin, throw me off my game, cause my Christianity to slip down below my knees are actually teachers sent to help me grow. Grow beyond myself and my expectations of how a broken world and broken people should respond. Because it’s about Him and me. Who He calls me to be regardless of the response. It’s hard. My flesh itches to tell them off – and sometimes I do. But I’m learning when I do that, I’m serving me not Him. Thanks for being on this journey with me – iron sharpens iron. So thankful for your willingness to be iron. Blessings friend! Thanks for another great comment!

    1. This melted my heart! I’m crying right now! I want to Love just like Joey loves!! Praise God!!! Give God all the Glory!

      1. Awwww thank you! ❤️ I want to love like Joey too! It’s humbling being his mom for sure. Yes! Glory to God always. ❤️❤️😘

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