Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Good Intentions

Matthew 8:1-3, "When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed."

Touch then healing. Touch first. Jesus holding this touch for a time in silence. Touch that occurs while the man is still unclean. The sequence isn't healing followed by touch. That sequence would signal something completely different, that I won't touch you until you are acceptable and "cleaned up." So as I imagine Jesus holding this touch I can sense that something deep inside the man is being healed irrespective of his leprosy. Something deep, emotional and human is being reached and healed prior to the physical healing. The true healing, as I see it, comes with the primacy of the touch. Touch heals the social dislocation and social alienation associated with leprosy, prostitution, addiction which by far are the most painful and dehumanizing symptoms and stigmas of disease and social behavior.

In short, touch heals.

It is the most primal act of love at our disposal.

"Ask God to give thee skill
In comfort' s art;
That you may consecrated be
And set apart
Into a life of sympathy.
For heavy is the weight of ill
In every heart;
And comforters are needed much
Of Christlike touch."
'If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say to them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,' which are very fine words, yet if you 'give them not those things that are needful to the body, what does it profit?' (James 2:15-16). Our faith must be touched by the urgency and despair of those who are afflicted by life's circumstance and unjustness. It may not be a part of our 'discerning nature' to distinguish which of those who are hungry, naked and destitute will receive our touch. God will place in our path those whom we are to aid. Matthew 25:35-40, " ... for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
God carries the weight of the responsibilty for all of His creation, heavy emphasis on 'all', it includes everything and everybody, it is 'all' inclusive. In this context we act as God's servants, those who are called and chosen to reveal the love of God through the frailty of human endeavour, work and hardship, without regard for the fruit of our effort, unconcerned with the conclusion (Yes, Wayne I borrowed this from you) for as Scripture states in 1 Cor. 3:7-8, "So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor."
Acts 9:4-5, "Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads."
We must acknowledge the folly and perversness of fighting against God; of murmuring at the evidence of his providence; of being impatient under affliction; and of opposing the purposes of his justice and mercy.

But madly now I wound myself alone,
Dashing my injured foot against the stone:
So to the wide arena, wild with pain,
The vanquish’d gladiator hastes again;
So the poor shatter’d bark the tempest braves,
Launching once more into the swelling waves.

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