Saturday, March 12, 2011

Not All Here

For years, we've gone to church with a woman who is often referred to, in less-than-politically-correct terms, as 'the crazy lady.'  She's not all there.

Her name is Yemima.  She's probably around fifty, dresses in rumpled 1970's era dresses with lots of not-always-clean lace and frills.  She wears lots of lipstick, some of which actually ends up on her lips.  Last week the dress was an unwashed dirty-white and the lipstick was metallic gold.

Our church services always have a time when anyone can share a story about how God is working in their lives or simply sing a song.  Frequently, different groups in the church will have practiced a number and come up front and share it with the rest of us.  Yemima always joins these groups, even though she isn't a member of the group nor has she practiced with them.  When the youth go up front, she's right there with them.  Men's groups?  You bet.  She adds her soprano to the basses and tenors.  Sometimes she goes up by herself, grabs the mike, and sings a shrill, wavering acapella hymn.

She's not all there.

So where is she?

Nearest I can tell, a fair portion of her mind is someplace else.  And this has me thinking about how many times we're exhorted by the scriptures to have our minds someplace else.  My mind tends to stay firmly rooted in the hear and now, on the physical realities that surround me and fill my vision.  The Apostle Paul set out God's agenda for our minds when he wrote:

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary
but what is unseen is eternal.

In a manner of speaking, we're urged to be not all here.  We're to fix our vision and our minds on something that is unseen.  And it occurs to me that this is how one enters the unseen realm that Jesus called the kingdom of heaven.  He told us it was near--as in all around us near--but if we're all here, we can't see it.  And it's only when we are there, in the kingdom of heaven, and not all here in the kingdom of this world, that many of the incredible teachings of Jesus begin to make sense. 

I've got a pretty strong feeling that Yemima sees the kingdom of heaven.  I think that's why she always wants to sing about Jesus.  She's not all here...a bunch of her is there.  I hope to grow to be like her one day.


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