It is Thursday night in Mobile, Alabama as I write this. I am tired, but have to get this written before I go to bed. I am exhausted. The week has been exhausting and glorious, but for now I am just exhausted. Michael Parsons, the leader of Soundscape, has lead his merry band of high school students through five shows in this tour of the Gulf Coast. In this tour I am the chief roadie and cook. I have found that a band, like an army, moves on it’s stomach, and this is the third and final year of my tenure as roadie and cook. I do this because I love it and because I love my son Eliot, who plays banjo. I am not a musician, nor the son of a musician – I love my son and I love to cook, thus I get up at 5:45 in the mornings to cook delicious food and I drive a big truck with a twenty four foot trailer into tight spots so we don’t have to carry the equipment very far.
We finished the last gig this afternoon and Michael took the chaperones to a great dinner and I saw heaven when they put a plate of sixteen oysters in front of me, cooked in four different ways. We then went back to our hotel and I was exhausted. I grabbed my computer and went outside to grab some quiet and finish up things, so I could be in bed early for the drive home. I had done my part, crossed the finish line, and was going to just sit outside and, for the first time all week, enjoy the warm coastal weather. I had driven like a fiend, cooked delicious food from chicken wings to steaks, and now wanted to retreat inside my head and coast… but alas it was not to be.
When I sat down, Ron, the shoe shine guy, pulled up a chair and we talked for a long time about life and the gospel. Then a homeless man, who was sick and hungry, came up to talk. When things were finally getting quiet and I was secretly hoping they would all leave, a guy who was from New Iberia came out and it was obvious he wanted to talk too. I’ll admit I was sort of churning inside. Outside I was gracious and charming, but inside I was saying, “I just want to be left alone”
Have you ever felt like that? And after you think that, do you feel guilty for not being eager to minister to people because you really feel like you have done enough? I was thinking about this as I was about to write about Sunday, and what was staring me in the face was Jesus and his compassion on a group of women who were in the city of Jerusalem for Passover and were witnessing the kangaroo court that sentenced Jesus to die. Jesus had taken our beating, our shame, our punishment, and was used up – if anyone needed compassion it was him. If anyone needed to be wept over it was Jesus. And yet, despite all this, Jesus is not taking our compassion – he is giving it. Even when he is used up, worn out, beaten beyond recognition, publicly humiliated, and about to die – he is thinking of others and the hard things that are coming to them.
Here I am grumbling and thinking to myself, “If you knew what all I had been through, you would leave me alone.” And here is my savior thinking, “I know what you are going to go through, let me help you avoid the judgement that is coming.” No wonder they call him savior! The one who should have been the judge is taking judgement – willingly for us. So join us Sunday. I can’t wait to tell you about this Savior.