In His Steps … things I missed

At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. John 20:14

The things you miss when you aren’t really looking …

When I took the picture above at the Garden Tomb, I never saw the man exiting the tomb. I was too busy to notice that anyone else was around.  I was trying to take it all in.
I can better relate to Mary not ‘seeing’ Jesus as John recounts in his Gospel.

While going through all the piles of pictures, brochures, notes, and receipts from our recent trip to Israel, I actually looked at my receipt from the Garden Tomb:

Did you miss it like I did?

I purchased a card with a beautiful watercolor painting of the Garden Tomb, a desktop model of the Garden Tomb made from Olive Wood (it sits in my office – stop and see it), and a book on the feasts of the Jewish Calendar for a Bible Study I am leading on Sunday Evenings during Lent.

I had a conversation with the young lady that helped me.  We chatted and even shared a laugh.
I paid for my things, took my receipt and the few shekels I received in change and crammed them into my pocket.  With merchandise in hand I hurried back to the bus and the group that was waiting.

But on that day – I missed it.  I never paid attention.

I was too busy shopping, talking, hurrying to the next.
I never saw the name of the person who helped me.

I was served by Esther !

The Book of Esther is a compelling story – take time to read it.  Veggie Tales even made a wonderful cartoon based on it. The book of Esther was written to the Jewish people to record the origins of the Feast of Lots, or Purim. This annual festival commemorates God’s salvation of the Jewish people, similar to their deliverance from slavery in Egypt (the book I bought is already paying off). In the story of Esther, we see God’s interaction with man’s will, his hatred of racial prejudice, his power to give wisdom and help in times of danger.

Remember my conversation with the clerk?

Amazingly it was about prejudice.  I was apologizing to her for the prejudicial remarks made by the unknown American that was in line before me.  I missed the connection … until today.

One last thing: One of the interesting things about the story of Esther is that God is never mentioned in the story and yet it isn’t hard to ‘see’ the sovereignty of God at work throughout the story.

So, even though I missed it the first time … God was still there.

I was served by Esther.

Who will you serve today?

And don’t be surprised if those you serve – miss it.

Just know … God is still in control.


I am a United Methodist Pastor and have the privilege of serving as the Senior Pastor for the church of my childhood. I preach in a place I once was an acolyte. I love to preach, but more importantly I love to teach. I firmly believe that Faith Matters and should affect how we live. This blog is a place where I come to share the randomness that is life and faith ... and the intersection of the two.

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