What Christ called the devil is what you and I would call the ego. Some of you may disagree with this and that does not bother me a bit, but please don’t get lost on arguing this point that you don’t see all of what I am trying to say:
When I first took the job as reporter in the small Idaho town I live in I had a dream that clearly said it was about my status. Now my ego wanted to disagree with this and say, no, no being a reporter is good for a community, justice is a very good thing etc. My ego got more food when everyone was telling me what a good job I was doing, how entertaining I was, yada, yada yada.
After I lost that job I felt a tremendous amount of relief and discovered it was kind of making me sad.
The thing about the ego or the devil, it wants to win so bad, wants applause, wants to be the best, to be worshipped.
One of my favorite Bible passages is somewhere in Mark where Christ sent out is Apostles and said, “Do what ever it takes to get people to tell you that you are great and if they worship you even better.” I hope you people recognize sarcasm.
Christ of course said the very opposite; be meek, do not let people see your good deeds. In other words as Christians we work for God and Christ not for the applause of mankind. In fact if you are doing your job right lots of people are going to persecute you and make up all sorts of mean things about you.
I have been hoboing around town lately looking to humble myself a bit and it has been fun but also humbling in a good way. I imagine people seeing me in a trash can in front of McDonald’s or in an ash bin somewhere thinking, “Jesus is that John? Has he sunk so far so quickly?”
Little Ceaser’s throws out pizzas and I get in there dumpster quite a bit, and recently someone in the Starbucks drive through told the people who work their some strange man was in their dumpster, and when I came in I think they were feeling sorry for me which I told them not to do.
Ego may arise and harden itself out of shame and indeed Adam and Eve were ashamed in the garden. We want to hide things that other people may think less of us for, like dumpster diving or as many rich people who smoke hide it from their friends and family.
We also try and hide ourselves because of past events that have happened to us. We may have been beaten or molested or shamed in public for telling the truth. When that happens we put on sort of a false face and pretend it did not happen, we would be mortified if anyone found out. Well the most important person in our lives, God already knows these things have happened and loves us deeply. He will heal those old shame spots if we simply allow him to see them.
Hoboing around town there were certainly moments when I wanted to hide, even did try and hide emotionally. It is a hard thing to explain this hiding in plane sight thing we do. Sometimes coming out of a garbage can I will see people hiding from seeing me, I look there way and see instantly that they do not want to acknowledge they even see me or what I did.
Sometimes I stand up after digging through a garbage can and am surprised by somebody who is closer distance wise than I expected. Your soul moves off somewhere else for a minute and even if they were looking at you right in the eyes they would not see you. I am curious about how that can happen.
But toward the end of the day I was actually feeling some real humility. This young couple in a car saw me going through some cans by a carwash, drove right up and offered me a cigarette. I was caught off guard but this time did not try and hide. Walked right up to them, looked them both in the eye and said, Aw, thank you so much.
That wasn’t John super star reporter or high and mighty Master of Social Work, that was John or Hobo John human being.
Now I may report again or do social work but hopefully it will be without the status stuff getting in the way. Hobo John here, human being and that is all. I have nothing to hide and neither do any of you.
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