I was running today and as I was running I was thinking about St. Patrick’s prayer
Christ be with me
Christ be before me
Christ be behind me
Christ be within me
As I was thinking this, I thought about the miniature Jesus I used to imagine living in my heart when I was little and laughed at myself. Then I imagined Jesus running in front of me and running behind me and thought to myself, what a beautiful circle that makes and isn’t it amazing that when Jesus is running behind me He wants me to follow Him!
I hear the saying and use the saying, Lead from behind, a lot, but I don’t think I have ever heard someone say, Follow from in front.
I don’t think following from in front is easy, but I think it is extremely important.
Take a look at Jesus’ Warriors of Love, women in abusive relationships. They are not considered leaders according to our man-made criteria, but we should see them as leaders in how to love others recklessly, how to love others as Jesus and God love us despite our flaws and terrible actions and treatment of others and ourselves.
Take a look at the slaves world wide. They are not considered leaders, but we should see them as leaders in resilience, strength and the faith as they go on living one more day with every dawn.
Take a look at the people of any third world country. They are not considered leaders, but we should see them as leaders. They lead us daily in gratitude as they give praise for clean water to drink, a simple meal placed before them and whatever shelter God has provided for them.
Finally, take a look at the sweet and generous widow in the bible. She was not considered a leader at that time. She was seen as a quiet and small follower, barely noticed by the powerful leaders at that time, but Jesus saw her, talked about her, placed her in a position to lead from behind, reminding us yet again to Follow from in Front.
They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on.
I think when the leaders and followers get mixed up as a lot of us are now, leaders, leading from in front and followers, following from behind, we very easily get lost and it becomes very hard to find God.
Let’s get out of the desert, let’s end this aimless wandering, let’s begin following the real leaders of our world. The poor, the oppressed, and the children. They have big things to teach us if we are willing to listen!
So many of us have been trying to lead from in front. Jesus please help us to have faith and trust in You and our fellow brothers and sisters so that we can complete your circle and remember to follow from in front.