So...how did you do?
Did you see all of the videos of family teamwork, making masks from old phone books and rubber bands, while your big achievement was keeping the cat away from the toilet paper stash?
Did you see the enchanted couples working together to whip up gourmet meals every night, and enjoying candlelight and conversation, while you were making grilled cheese sandwiches...again?
Did you see people coming together (at proper social istancing intervals) to serenade the shut-in elderly, and then return to Netflix with a grumpily guilty conscience?
In other words...
Were you human?
And are you now beating yourself up, for having missed a good solid crisis that could showcase your fatih?
If you're a bit angry with yourself that you were sharp when you might have been kind, that you didn't fully appreciate those around you even when they got on your nerves, that you sometimes reacte with exasperation rather than smiling patience, well, you're not alone, for...
A long time ago in a place far, far away...
Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
You can just see Jesus rolling His eyes, and Mary, in the background: "If You do that once that once too often they'll get stuck that way."
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
(The whip He made is described in John 2:15)
Overturning furniture and chasing people around with a whip does bring on an appetite...
Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
Now, it's true that in the following verses, when the diciples were amaed that he could kill a tree with a word, Jesus turned it into a teaching experience on faith. But it started with the fact that He was hungry, and peeved that there were no figs.
A lot of people want these instances to be 'holified'; they want to see Jesus in a pure light where all of His irritation and impatience are grounded in Divinity, and that's fine, except for one thing.
We're turning away a gift He gave us, the gift of the human-ness He freely took on.
He came here to be one of us, to share our laughter and our tears, our joy and our pain, our fears (remember the Garden of Gethsemane), and yes, our anger and sometimes waspish irritation.
It's wrong to exclude Him, to put Him on a pedestal of our own making.
So be OK with yourself, and with the times you failed at being what you thought you were supposed to be.
He gets it.
One day soon you will emerge
to blink in unaccustomed light;
what grade do you think you’ve earned
in this long and dismal fight?
Did you reach out with kind heart
to those who shrank in fear,
to help them make a hope-filled start
in bringing Jesus near?
Or did you see the other side
of self beyond dim flick’ring taper,
trying to find a place to hide
your stash of toilet paper?
If you’re alive and you remain,
you have the chance to start again.
Music from The Bellamy Brothers.
I do try to answer each comment in a timely fashion, but with Internet providers really stretched, I have only about half of the access I once did. Please bear with me!
Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.
Andrew! Get well!!! Jesus did walk with us didn't he? Fully human and yet.. divinely God.ReplyDelete
Annette, thank you so much. It's a struggle. And I am so grateful for God.Delete
Andrew, blessings of health infuse you as well as your wife- mental physical spiritual. To curse a tree with one word and have it destroyed is powerful- our words have life and death.ReplyDelete
Michele, thank you for this...and you're so right. Words have power.Delete
I choose to use words of hope.
Annie in Texas
We are so grateful for you.
Absolutely THE BEST of you. Love you both. xoxoReplyDelete
Susan, thank you so much! XOXOXO right back!Delete
Beautiful words, Andrew. You are such an inspiration despite your circumstances, and I'm sure the Lord smiles down on you saying "my good and faithful servant." You are in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyDelete
Great Granny Grandma, thank you so much for this...you just made my day!Delete
I've been away from my blog for months, as other things have taken precedence. Every week when I see the FMF linkup in my email, I think of you and wonder if you are still here writing your posts. I was so glad to see your post this morning! But I'm sorry you are not well enough to finish it on your own. The Lord bless you and your wonderful wife.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure who you are...but I thank so from the bottom of my heart for your warm and lovely comment.Delete
Wow. Beautiful. Thank you for the gift of the reminder of considering him in his humanity. Prayers for you.ReplyDelete
Beth, thank you so much for these affirming words, and most especially for your prayers.Delete
Praying for you, friend!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much...prayers are SO important.Delete
Praying for you, Andrew!ReplyDelete
Lesley, I truly appreciate your prayers!Delete
Praying for Andrew. Good post. Sorry for the misfortune. I hope tomorrow is a better day. Thinking of you two.ReplyDelete
My dear Norma, this means so much. Thank you.Delete
Real prayers, virtual hugs. Love to both you & dear Barb,ReplyDelete
Kathryn in SC
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases..."
Kathryn, prayers and hugs are super-appreciated.Delete
And the Scripture's perfect.
Sending love and gratitude to you both.ReplyDelete
Paula, we're so grateful. Thank you.Delete
As always, beatiful and true. Praying for you both.ReplyDelete
Suzette, thank you so much for your kind words, and especially your prayers.Delete
Praying you're feeling better. So sad to read this... These words though, SO POWERFULLY TRUE. The "were you human?" really got me. He gets it... I need to have more grace.ReplyDelete
Misty, thank you so much...I'm still here, but a lot worse than before.Delete
I'm so glad this post resonated with you!
Andrew, your words highlight things I've been grappling with. Comparison and holding our humanity up against the ways others are responding in a given moment leads only to a sense of defeat. I loved, LOVED how you remind us that Jesus on earth was fully human and fully divine.ReplyDelete
I needed this today. Thank you, friend. I'm praying for you and Barb.
Jeanne, I'm so glad you found something worthwhile here, and am truly grateful for your prayers.Delete
Dear Andrew, I’d like to send you and Barbara a comp copy of my new novel, ANGEL MOUNTAIN. You have been an inspiration and support in its creation. Thank you for all you are doing for all of us readers. We need the insight and encouragement. If you would like a copy as a small thank you please email me where to send it. firstname.lastname@example.org Blessings to you both, ChristineReplyDelete
Christine, wow! Thank you so much! Sending an email now.Delete