Calvary Episcopal Church
Memphis, Tennessee
May 16, 1999
Volume 44, No. 20

Some Reflections on Lamp Post Graffiti
It was on the way to an early morning, mid-week meeting at the church that I first spotted them, careful dark letters painted on the lamp post at the corner of Adams and North Second. The two words simply said, "Trust Jesus." Trust Jesus ... a host of thoughts came tumbling into my mind before the light had even turned green. First, I wondered, who wrote those thoughts? Someone going to the courthouse to confront some life-changing decision? A young mother whose home was no longer a safe place to raise her child? A man trying to rebuild his life from the fragments of its brokenness? Who wrote it, "Trust Jesus"? And what did the words mean for their author? Or were they perhaps written for the sake of others, for me or for you?

The next thoughts to come tumbling into my mind were, "What would those words mean to someone who is feeling overwhelmed by life itself? Would they give courage? Or would Jesus seem too remote to provide strength and stamina for a life that seemed hopeless?" To trust Jesus, I answered my own questions, is surely the first, necessary step out of any difficult situation that seems to hold us captive. But we can't stop there. That leaves Jesus too separated from us, too distant and uninvolved. A second step has to follow, and that step is trusting in the presence of Jesus in ourselves. This is where the power for new life comes from! And this is the essence of the Christian faith, that the Spirit of God is working in you and in me and in whoever wrote that graffiti on the lamp post, working in and through us even now to save us and to save the world. Then I remembered a statement I'd read long ago: "We show a lack of faith in God by a lack of faith in ourselves as proceeding from God's creative act." And, I wondered if this is the faith we teach and if this is the faith we live as well.

But then the light turned green, and I went on across the street to Calvary to begin the day, much more thoughtful than when I'd first left home.
~Margaret Gunness

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