My parents only live six minutes away from me, and I love to stop in and visit as much as possible. Every time I do, they are faced with a choice. With my hands hidden behind my back, I walk right in and say with my best game show hostess voice possible, “Do you want what’s in my right hand, or my left hand?”
Ninety-nine percent of the time, my dad chooses first, and chooses correctly. I don’t know how he does it. The prizes are often both good ones, like a chocolate chip cookie in one hand and a candy bar in the other, but sometimes there’s only one good prize and the other’s a real dud. Dad rarely ever chooses the dud.
If only all of life’s choices were so simple, huh?
James 1:22-25 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (NIV)
Have you ever been at an elegant social event for hours, talking with all kinds of people, and you step into the restroom, glance into the mirror and see that big dark green glob of who knows what stuck in your front teeth? Would you ever in a million years decide to leave it there and do nothing about it?
I doubt it. (Just like I would never in a million years film a video with messy hair and no makeup – unless I thought it might help me draw attention to a life-giving truth.)
The lakefront homes across the street from my house are pretty much all vacation homes. Last weekend was the 4th of July celebration; cars were everywhere, and fireworks were boldly exploding for five days straight. Today, just a week later, the driveways are empty, the boats are in hiding, and there’s not a firecracker to be heard. What happened to all the celebrating?
These past few days, while listening to fireworks go off all around me, I feel like I’ve been hanging out with Lady Liberty. No, not the tall one in New York Harbor—the shorter one in Luke chapter 7. She’s impressed me like never before with her bold kind of freedom.
I invite you to watch the video to hear the story, or go to Luke 7:36-50 and read it for yourself. Here’s what this incredible woman of freedom accomplished in less than 14 verses: