A Prophet Among Us

"As the Lord spoke to me, the spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard the one who was speaking say to me: Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites...Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you. But you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord God! And whether they heed or resist...they shall know that a prophet has been among them."
(Ezekiel 2:2-5)
When a life is ended, or gone, that is when we are confronted with the amazing gift that life was to our world...flaws and all.
I was watching part of Michael Jackson's funeral today and couldn't help but notice the adoration given to him as if he were a god. I guess, in a way he was. He was larger than life. However, he was such a flawed human being. His weaknesses, as well as his strengths, were known worldwide. I don't admire Michael Jackson for his weirdness, indecency and dysfunction. However, I don't blame him either. It's the world he was thrust into for whatever reason. What do I admire about him, and any true artist for that matter, was how he poured his life into his music. He reached the highest potential he possibly could in this area of his life. He was given this gift of charisma, creativity and music and he did the best he could with what he had and what an amazing entertainer he was. Now that he is gone, the goodness in his life shines brightly and what was not so good is fading.

A dear woman in our community is coming to the end of her life. She has been a very active part of our church leading our music, and an active member of our town. She has been involved, and not just at the edges, in helping the poorest families in our community find homes through such organizations as Habitat for Humanity and other local organizations. She and her husband, who is already in Heaven, adopted numerous children whom others may not have. She continues to sustain and take care of them even in their adult lives. She, like Michael Jackson, has poured her life into her gifts and creativity. Unlike Jackson, her weaknesses are not so apparent. Hers is a life shaped more by holiness than by dysfunction. When she is gone, we will look at her life and know that there has been a prophet among us.

I long to be a person poured out. I want to reach my highest potential in whatever I am doing. I am well aware of the battle I face with my weaknesses and if I am not fostering habits of holiness, I could easily slip into habits of dysfunction. With God's help, it is my deepest desire to overcome these weaknesses and be the best me I can be. I pray that one day, after I am gone, whether people take or toss what I say or do, they will know that a prophet (a follower of Christ) has been among them and that holiness prevails.

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