My coworker Julia often tells me stories about her family. The latest story was about her 2-year-old nephew who tells his mother that he sees Jesus. And Jesus speaks to him too. So far, according to the toddler, Jesus told him two words: “Taco Bell.” With a certainty and sincerity of all 2-year-olds, he proclaims, “Jesus is everywhere!” He loves to pray, and he does it with gusto. And he cleans up the mess in his room with a happy song he learned in Sunday school.
Interested and intrigued, I wanted to know more about the nephew’s encounters with Jesus: Ask him, what did Jesus look like? Was He sitting or standing? Was He moving? . . . As I peppered my coworker with questions, I suddenly had a chilling realization: I envy the 2-yearold! Why don’t I see Jesus? Why doesn’t He talk to me? Why don’t I pray with gusto and clean up the mess in my room with a happy song? What’s wrong with me? Have I lost my first love and the joy of my salvation?
I would have been wallowing in this despair for a long time, but the Lord in His mercy and in the power of His Word dispelled my misery. As it happened many times before, the work on Today in the Word brought encouragement. When I looked at the theme of this month’s issue, “People Encounter Jesus,” I remembered all the men, women, and children in the Bible who saw Jesus and to whom He said exactly what they needed to hear. And I remembered all the times in my own life when the Lord spoke to my heart with the words of love and compassion. As gratitude filled me, my envy and doubt disappeared. Yes, the 2-year-old is right: Jesus is everywhere, in time and space. Just as He spoke to people from all walks of life in the New Testament, He speaks now to every heart that belongs to Him. We need to pay attention, to listen, and to be grateful.
Dear readers, we hope this month’s issue of Today in the Word encourages you as well. We pray that as you read about people who met Jesus—a tax collector, a religious lawyer, a woman from Samaria, a paralyzed man, a grieving widow, a Pharisee—you will remember your encounters with the risen Lord. Perhaps you would like to write to us about these encounters. In the June issue we asked you to share with us your summer journeys with Today in the Word. This month, please send us a letter or an email about meeting Jesus with the help of Today in the Word—through Scriptures, circumstances of your life, or a “still small voice.” Then, in one of the future issues of Today in the Word, we’ll dedicate this column to publishing your accounts of God at work in your life.
Please send your stories and pictures to Today in the Word, 820 N.LaSalle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.