I didn’t say this on your Facebook wall, but these additional words sit and stand and leap behind what two sentences I did post. What you see is not just for you. What you see is for us. What you see is for you and us to change.
You’ve gone to the islands a couple times that I can think of, and it didn’t occur to me until I saw your photos that your going was about more than your teaching or your preaching or your inestimable ability to capture youth and leaders.
You have always been more than I could wrap my head around. You have always been more than anyone could. You have always been more.
I must admit and repent that I’ve not cultivated the vision to see you as you are. You know that history is full of times when we’ve had to knock each other back. That is the fundamental agreement we made some day over you cutting my hair or in the basement eating French silk pies. We agreed to be honest and truthful. We agreed we’d notice each other and tell each other what we saw.
The trick in keeping that agreement is in the constant cultivation of vision. And it wasn’t until I saw you seeing that landfill that the spirit—and we may blame a spirit—whispered to me that I wasn’t seeing. I wasn’t seeing you and why you were there in the Philippines.
I knew you were going. I celebrated and prayed when I saw you heading there. I did so the way I always do when I see you doing the doggone thing. You’re doing what you always have. You’re doing what you’re here to do. And with your persistence with your life call comes my sneaky ability to take vision for granted.
I assume you’ll do the thing. I assume you’ll achieve, not greatness, but dogged consistency in following Jesus. I assume you’ll be you. I assume too much.
In my assumptions I didn’t look closely. In my assumptions I stopped noticing what was, perhaps, just beyond both our gazes. Of course, you may know this. In which case, you can accept my words as a reminder. What you see is for you but it’s also for us. What you see is for you and us to do something about.
You haven’t been brought to that place—and I have in mind the Philippines and other places too—to stop at seeing. You have always been a moving man. You get to my nerves, you move so much. You get to me because you expect so much damned movement. But that is a quality that is necessary with what you saw.
Be moved by what you see. And then move us. Do it by grace. Do it in faith. Do it after and while being convinced that changing vision is never your job alone. It never really is your job. Change your vision and ours by changing what’s before us.
I love you whether you listen to me or not, and you know I hate to be ignored.