What Jesus Cares About

A Field in Seed by Ed Dahl

A Field of Dandelions in Seed by Ed Dahl

Walking home from the store I run into “Philip,” a guy in the neighbourhood who attends our church once in a while. He smiles and says hello, but frowns when I ask him how he’s doing. He tells me again about his visits to the doctor, the constant pain, the cut in support funding, the struggle to make ends meet. I encourage him again to go to the church for prayer on Tuesday nights. He describes again the websites that stop him from going to church. According to them, most churches have been doing it all wrong. “I get so confused,” he says, “I don’t know what to do.”

We talk for a while, and then I say, “Don’t worry about figuring it all out. That’s not what Jesus cares about. What he really cares about is you and hanging out with you.”

Afterwards I feel bad for trying to fix Philip instead of listening more deeply. Lord, please help Philip. And help me be a  better listener.

The next morning I sit down to pray and recall my Grade 5 teacher, Mrs. Sidon. She was old (at least fifty) and stocky with short, tight curly grey hair and round wire-framed glasses. She wore plain dark dresses and orthopaedic shoes and liked to hold the wooden pointer when she taught. She was so strict that everyone dreaded going into Grade 5.

But I liked Mrs. Sidon; she was kind to me.

Whenever I was bullied or teased at school I would cry and run to the teacher. One lunch hour I was upset about something and found Mrs.Sidon in our empty classroom. She wiped my tears with her handkerchief and looked me in the eyes. “Ten-year-olds aren’t supposed to cry so much, ” she said.  So I stopped.

Mrs. Sidon didn’t ask me why I cried so much. She didn’t ask questions like that. Instead she gave me a valuable tool that helped me survive elementary school.

I sense an inner prompting to thank God for her, and I do.

I enjoy the feeling of gratitude for a moment until regret about how I spoke to Philip pushes it aside. That’s when I hear Jesus thank me for giving Philip a valuable tool to survive. “It’s what you had in you at the time, and it was enough,” Jesus says to me, “Thank you.”

Boundless gratitude is my soul’s response.

Photo by Anne Yungwirth

O my Beloved,
You have searched me and known me…
You encompass me with love where’er I go, and Your strength is my shield.
Such sensitivity is too wonderful for me;
It is high; boundless gratitude is my soul’s response.
–Psalm 139:1,6

from Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan C. Merrill.

“A Field of Dandelions in Seed” by Ed Dahl. Used with permission.
“Blowies” by Anne Yungwirth. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013 http://www.estherhizsa.wordpress.com.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Childhood, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What Jesus Cares About

  1. Donna Anderson says:

    Thanks for this Esther. Boundless gratitude is my soul’s response!!!!! I like that a lot. He has had me focusing on His kindness – a new recognition of it. Our Pastor challenged us to ask Holy Spirit how He reveals the Lord to us. So I began to and I quickly began to see His kindness poured out in my day. I was stunned. I just hadn’t seen it before. Boundless gratitude has been my soul’s response! Really appreciate you, Donna


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