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When I Don’t Show Up.

God, I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, You know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of Your sight.

Psalm 139:2-3 (The Message)

A dialogue from the movie Rambo: First Blood Part II, captured my heart. While being led upriver in Vietnam, Commando John Rambo, a former Vietnam War vet, was asked by his assigned Vietnamese contact, Co-Bao, why he was chosen for this risky surveillance assignment.

Google images Rambo: First Blood Part II

Co Bao: Why did they pick you? Because you like to fight?

Rambo: (pained grin, looking away) I’m expendable.

Co Bao: What that mean, expendable?

Google images Rambo: First Blood Part II

Rambo: It’s like someone invites you to a party and you don’t show up (Rambo shrugs). It doesn’t really matter.

I’d like to think that if others are expecting me to be somewhere, to show up, that my presence mattered. Let me repeat, that my presence mattered. And that if I went missing, heads would turn in wonder or concern.

But not because I was the keynote speaker.

Or the one bringing the 22-pound turkey to Thanksgiving.

Or the only one with a key to the building with a growing line of irritable people waiting to be let inside.

Or the bride 🙁

So, if I don’t show up, who would care? Will I be missed?

There have been times when, for whatever reason, I haven’t shown up

Does anybody care that there sits an empty chair?

and have expected some measure of an ‘I sure missed you’, but, instead, got nothing. Left me feeling a little John Rambo-ish.



Me: Hey, what gives?

God: I pursued you this morning, but you went on with your day.

Me:  (checking the time on my cell, then shielding my eyes against the setting sun) Guess I never showed up.

God: I had a meal prepared so we could dine together. 

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. 

If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. 

Revelation 3:20

The full day God had given me had come to an end, and, all the while, He stayed near, saw to my needs.

God had continuously given breath to my lungs, solutions to my problems, joy to my heart. Even that needed parking spot up close to the building.

But just how much did I miss Him? And not because of what He could do for me.

According to the World Population Clock I share planet Earth with approximately 7.4 million people. Yet, it grieves God’s heart when I – only one of His millions – don’t show up.

My presence matters.

I am not expendable. 

And neither is John Rambo. I suppose SOMEBODY ought to let the guy know.

I’ll gladly volunteer :). But not until after my time with the Lord. Because the sun is on its way up and He’s waiting for me to show up.


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