We’ve heard the old joke. It seems that some phone calls were being made from hell. A call to a family in North Dakota cost 4 million dollars. A call to Nevada friends cost 6 million. But when a call to New York only cost five bucks, a chorus of objections was raised to the Prince of Darkness. In the version of the joke I laughed heartily to this morning the explanation of Satan was that New York was only a local call.
With that dark humor in mind, I went for a couple things at Home Depot. Driving the ridgeline above Albany on the way to the store, the old song “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus” began to play from my Bluetooth connection (see resource below to hear the song).
What if the “me” in that phrase were Albany?
As I listened to the song, jolting, eye-opening thoughts came to my mind and heart in that instant. What if the “me” in that phrase were Albany? Or the governor? Has anybody ever cared for Albany more than Jesus? Has anybody ever cared for anyone more than Jesus cares?
I remembered these words from my Bible reading a couple of days ago: “And when he [Jesus] drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.’” (Luke 19:41-42 ESV)
Jesus didn’t laugh. He wept.
Now embarrassed of laughing at the joke, I see my need to care like the One who rules my heart – like Jesus. Instead of laughing at the joke, I should be caring in the face of probable outcomes in loss and suffering. Jesus didn’t laugh. He wept.
Caring means I long for open eyes for those who are blind to their opportunity to humbly trust Christ and honor God rather than amassing power and wealth to themselves. Caring means I see them as people God loves intensely and personally. God loves “the world” so much so that He gave up His Son so all of us could repent and be saved (John 3:16).
God weeps, and dies, before He has to give anyone their just due.