“Some you add just a little water to every day. Some you bring back to life with a touch of bleach in the water. Or others prefer a squeeze of lemon. They are all different – you just have to know what each one wants.”
A conversation about flowers. Prompted by me being offered (and turning down) a small bouquet that had seen better days. And knowing that if I took that “gift” back for my wife – I would be as “worn” as this bouquet I was being offered.
Someone else – someone who knew flowers – gladly accepted what I had turned down.
Don Merritt again: Jesus and the Crowds Matthew 9:35-38
Don wrote this: “So there Jesus was; He could make speeches, and He could form relationships with some, but there were simply too many people who needed Him; there simply were not enough hours in the day for Him to heal everyone who needed Him.“
Yesterday I cut my finger. Today I bruised my ankle . Tomorrow I will get a slipped disc. The day after I will have a breakdown. Next week I will get something in my eye. The week after I will have a bad back. Next month I will be grief-stricken.
If you could “heal me” – how would you know what needed healing? If you could heal my cut finger – what of the following ailments (hypothetically speaking)? How can we heal if we do not know (through relationship) the person we heal (no hypothetical about it)? And how do we know we are not the one needing healing.
I do not know flowers. And I cannot know you if I heal rather than listen. If I save rather than connect. If I count numbers more than friendship. And I think I was taught badly. I was taught that being saved and saving others was my “job” as a “Christian”. I was taught numbers not relationship.
And that, for me, answers the skeptic: “If Jesus was Jesus why did he not just wave a magic wand and heal everyone – because if he really is Jesus – he would. But he didn’t. Odd that – don’t you think?”
I think the opposite. I think I could not follow a “Jesus” who waved a magic wand. A Jesus who gave me no choice. A Jesus who did not ask what I wanted to be healed of. A Jesus who did “good works” rather than stay awhile and just listen. But I could follow a Jesus who did stop doing – a Jesus who stayed awhile – a Jesus who cared for one like me every single day of his walk.
I am not sure I see Jesus doing “ministry” either: the ministry of healing and saving.
I am not sure Jesus knew what “ministry” is. I am not sure Jesus knew what a budget was. I am not sure Jesus knew what a committee was. But I do see compassion, I do see presence, I do see love at an individual level – at an unconditional level. And with perfect timing for each.
We all say “But I am not Jesus! How can we ever do that?”
I say …
One at a time.
(starting with me!)