Project Zion Podcast

Extra Shot Episode 54: Coffee Connect: The Face of Jesus

November 19, 2019
Project Zion Podcast
Extra Shot Episode 54: Coffee Connect: The Face of Jesus
Chapters
Project Zion Podcast
Extra Shot Episode 54: Coffee Connect: The Face of Jesus
Nov 19, 2019
Project Zion Podcast

Coffee Connect is our series of stories with retired Apostle Linda Booth. Today Linda shares several stories from her life where she could see the face of Jesus through encounters with ordinary people. 

Show Notes Transcript

Coffee Connect is our series of stories with retired Apostle Linda Booth. Today Linda shares several stories from her life where she could see the face of Jesus through encounters with ordinary people. 

Speaker 1:
0:16
[inaudible].
Speaker 2:
0:17
You are listening to an extra shot episode on the project Zion podcast, a shorter episode that lets you get your project Zion fix in between our full length episodes. It might be shorter time wise, but hopefully not in content. So regardless of the temperature at which you prefer your caffeine, sit back and enjoy this extra shot.
Speaker 1:
0:59
[inaudible]
Speaker 3:
1:00
welcome my friend to coffee connect. My name is Linda Booth and I'm a long time minister in community of Christ. Having served 21 years as an apostle in the council of 12 and the last six years as president of the council, I retired in April 20,019 and I love stories, stories about connections between people and stories about how God connects with ordinary people. Today I'm going to share, share a story about how ordinary people can show the face of Jesus. I learned that through one of my sons and his name is Bart. My husband Doug and I raised three sons, Bernie, Ben and Bart. There was seven years between the first child's birth and the last, and they were delightful as they grew up, but they were also really Henri one advent season. They took particular delight and messing up the nativity scene on a table that I had placed between the dining room and the great room.
Speaker 3:
2:24
And each day, new characters would appear with Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus shepherds with lambs across his shoulders, Wiseman with camels and a donkey and lambs and an angel high atop the wooden stable. This is what showed up star war figurines, dinosaurs and Tonka trucks were placed in the nativity by one or all of the boys. I take away the unwelcome objects and I'd scold them and I'd say no more intrusions in this Holy thing. And finally it seemed that my threats worked for several days. There were no new additions. Then one morning after all the boys were off to school, I pass by the nativity scene and I couldn't believe my eyes looking up from the face of baby Jesus was a smiling face of our youngest son. Eight year old Bart. He had carefully cut around his third grade school picture and attached it to Jesus's face with duct tape.
Speaker 3:
3:34
Yes, duct tape. You know that gray tape that sticks forever to anything and everything. I was furious. I couldn't wait until Bart arrived home to punish him for defacing Jesus. And I kept thinking through the day what Bart had done. Then I believe through what I believe is the Holy spirit. I realized that Bart's actions were revealing the mystery and challenges of incarnation. We you, me and all followers of Jesus Christ are to reflect Jesus and all that we do and say we are to be the living expressions of Jesus Christ in a hurting world. We are to be his hands and his feet and his voice and a revelation to everyone we encounter. So when Bart got home, I didn't punish him because that Henri act had taught me something important about incarnation that just does that face looked up to me from baby Jesus. Our faces and our actions and our words are to reflect the loving presence of Jesus in the world.
Speaker 3:
4:55
So Bart's on reaction gave me a Holy God moment that continues to deepen my call to reflect Christ in all I do and say it reminds me of something that Barbara Brown Taylor, one of my favorite authors wrote in her book and altar in the world. She said that after Jesus was gone, that his disciples would still have God's word, but that the word was going to need some new flesh. The disciples were going to need something warm and near that they could bump into on a regular basis, something so real that they would not be able to intellectualize it and so essentially untidy that that there was no way they could ever gain control over. So she said, Jesus gave them things they could get their hands on, things that would require them to get enough to touch one another. She said that touching others through taking on Jesus is flesh or embodying Jesus is the practice of incarnation by which God can save the lives of God's beloved children.
Speaker 3:
6:18
And she wrote, and I quote it, wa it wasn't more about, we're not to share more about God. We're to be more God. So according to Barbara, the central claim of incarnation is that quote, God, trusted flesh and blood to bring divine love to the earth. I have a wonderful sister named Jan and she's seven years younger than I am and after preaching in her home congregation in a life that Kansas, my husband Doug and I had lunch with her and her husband Dave, and while the men talked, Jan told me about her past workweek, which was filled with stress, pain and sadness. At that time, Jan worked as a social worker at a medical center in Kansas and one of her responsibilities was to support families who were struggling with life's tragedies. She told me that that week she met with many families. One had a child diagnosed with brain cancer and another father had annexed, unsuccessfully attempted suicide.
Speaker 3:
7:37
And she told me about one day when she was emotionally annexed, spiritually exhausted, and she got a page from a doctor and he requested that she meet in a patient's room and Jan told me about the situation. The doctor told her that she was going to go there to help a husband and a mother and a father of a young woman who had been in a terrible automobile accident, had spent some time in the intensive care ward and now was in a regular room and the doctor was going to tell her husband and her mother and her father that there was no hope and the young woman was brain dead and was expected to die that day. Jan said she didn't think she could go through another traumatic situation with another family, so rather than take the elevator, she climbed the steps praying she could love these people like Christ, that she would be Christ's like to bring a blessing to the family.
Speaker 3:
8:42
When she arrived in the room, she said the doctor was standing at the bedside of the young woman and standing across the bed where her husband and father Jan was drawn to the young mother who sat in a chair next to the back wall. Jen said she knelt beside the crying woman and reached out to touch her. Jan said, when she looked at her hands, it was as if she could see the imprint in the palms of her hands and when she looked into the woman's eyes, Jan knew her expression of love reflected. Jesus says, love to this woman, her daughter and husband. She told me I was so tired and empty and yet God used me as an expression of Jesus as an adequate as I felt Jesus was present in me. I'm blessed to travel into congregations and encounter Emmanuel, God with us in the lives of disciples who lived their discipleship in community of Christ the yard in tuned spiritually to God's movement in their neighborhoods and they join God in mission.
Speaker 3:
10:03
There they are awake looking for people in need and daily seeking opportunities to share God's love even in the midst of their busy lives. I want to tell you about why Kesha. I first saw her at the Alabama Northwest Florida USA mission center fall conference. Occasionally I saw her sitting alone at a picnic table with her head in her hands or intimately sharing with Wilma and adult leader from the Jackson street congregation in Pensacola, Florida. During the concluding Sunday morning worship service. What raised her hand and ask if someone would pray for her. I volunteered as she sat in the chair facing the congregation. I bent and ask her what she wanted me to pray for. She briefly shared that for the first time in her life she felt loved and accepted because the people in the Jackson street congregation, she told me she was considering being baptized, but it was afraid she would mess up and disappoint these people and also disappoint God.
Speaker 3:
11:21
As I prayed for Waukesha, I felt God's immense unconditional love for her and I know the folks from Jackson street were living expressions of Jesus. See Jesus Christ or her. They were the faces of Jesus. Several months later, Wilma texted me saying why Kesha has asked to be baptized not long after her baptism. Well, my text again saying that what Kesha would bring ministry through her personal testimony during a Sunday service. Well, most texts continued photos of Waukesha smiling and waving 40 plus children. You from the neighborhood around the Jackson street congregation attending jam, Jesus and me. Well, Keisha sitting with her arms around two small children with a big grin on her face. I saw the joy and why space because of good people who joined God and the neighborhoods surrounding their church, building good people who were the face of Jesus to many.
Speaker 3:
12:30
Our family lived 20 years on five acres East of a life of Kansas and one winter morning our community awoke to the news on the radio, television and in the Kansas city star that an intruder had broken into a life of family's home. While the mother was working the night shift at the LA, the medical center, and the father slept. The intruder killed. The youngest daughter, severely beat the son and left him for dead and kidnapped the oldest daughter. Two days later they found her body on the IC spillway of Aletha Lake. Our community was in shock. Our congregation was particularly concerned about the mother, Carol Duffield, who many knew from when she worked as a nurse for two doctors who attended the Aletha congregation. I remember a Wednesday evening service where we prayed for Carol, her husband and son, and I remember Sunday morning Sharon care time where we were reminded to pray for the Duffield family.
Speaker 3:
13:39
I remember waking up in the middle of the night praying for this family and wondering how it would ever be whole after such a tragedy. My husband, Doug and I have phrased as I've said, three sons and during those growing up years we have visited the Aletha medical center emergency room and others on many occasions. So when our middle son Ben called me at work and said he thought he had broken his ankle, I believed him. That particular afternoon. The emergency room was busy, so I propped Ben's foot on a chair and settled in for a long wait. We silently watched a drama unfold before us. I later learned a teenage driver with his younger brother and his brother's friend in the backseat had pulled onto a busy rural highway in front of a dump truck. The two younger boys died that afternoon. The teenager was in critical condition. I watched a nurse with white hair and a very young face care for the mothers, fathers, grandparents, family and friends who gathered to learn fate of their children.
Speaker 3:
14:54
I watched her hold a sobbing woman in her arms and kneel before a disheveled, elderly man, tenderly placing her hand on his knee and as I watched her move bringing blessings to the hurting people, I thought I am in the presence of the living Christ. Late that afternoon, the nurse who had cared for the family came over to thank us for being patient and to assure Ben that someone would see him soon and I looked at her name tag. It was Carol Duffield. I was in awe wondering how this woman who had experienced such tragedy in her own life could place herself in situations to carry the pain and sorrow of others. At that time, I was editor of a biweekly newspaper in Aletha because the community had experienced the Deville family's tragedy story. I wanted to interview Carol and learn the rest of the story. I got permission to visit with her in her home and we sat in her kitchen with the photos of her three children on the wall behind us.
Speaker 3:
16:12
Carol told me of the darkest time in her life when she sank into a deep depression. She had trouble caring for her injured son. Her marriage was nearly destroyed in that deep pain. She was introduced to a group, compassionate friends, people who had gone through the sadness of loving, losing a child. In the circle of those people, Carol said healing began for her and her husband. She said, we were there for each other in our pain. Each life touched the lives of each person. In that circle. I learned from Carol that in that sacred community, God's love was experienced and flash and flash was given to the spirit. As a result, Carol embodies the living Christ and shares his ministry with others. You see, that's what it's all about. My friends that you and I love with a compassion that we reach out to others who are hurting like what Kesha and that we reflect the face of Jesus as boldly as my eight year old son, Bart face looked up from me at the manger. Check out my next coffee connect and I'll tell you more in stories about God's
Speaker 4:
17:50
amazing grace and love for the world.
Speaker 1:
18:00
[inaudible]
Speaker 5:
18:02
thanks for listening to projects I am podcast. Subscribe to our podcast on Apple podcast, Stitcher, or whatever podcast streaming service you use. And while you are there, give us a five star rating projects. I am podcast is sponsored by latter day seeker ministries of community of Christ. The views and opinions expressed in this episode are of those speaking and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of latter day seeker ministries or community of Christ. The music has been graciously provided by Dave Heinz
Speaker 1:
18:58
[inaudible]
Speaker 4:
19:05
[inaudible].
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