The Customized Caring of Jesus

Birds of the AirI was reading in John (The Message version) this morning. I love how Peterson’s phrasing gets me to look at passages in a fresh way. I read about several of the miracles – the official’s dead daughter, blind men, the woman who touched his robe, demon possessed, etc..

Then, that chapter ends and in the last paragraph I saw this: “He…healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke…”

A couple things struck a chord with me. First is how he used very particular methods to heal each person. He could have been like the evangelists on T.V., slapped everyone on the forehead and spouted, “Be healed!” Instead, he took each case on its own and found creative ways and specific words to tend to the wounds of each individual.

It says he “healed their bruised and hurt lives”. He wasn’t only tending to physical needs – this implies he was dealing with heart pain, anxiety, grief, abuse – you name it.

I think He (meaning the God-man Jesus, not just some out-there, big, invisible God) is still doing stuff like that today – even though we aren’t experiencing it as directly.

If you have a bruised and hurting life right now, Jesus looks upon you the same way He did that crowd, and His heart aches for you. He is there for you in a specific way with a healing of singular design. I have no idea what that looks like, but I hope that one day you will be able to look back on your time of pain and recognize His hand in its mending.


“Our glory is hidden in our pain, if we allow God to bring the gift of himself in our experience of it.”     ~Henri Nouwen


This might feel distant or hard to believe if you are stuck in the muck. If so, just tuck it away in a brain file so you can find it later.

Sweet Home

Family

I am very thankful for my current house – a great 1-story w/ 3 bedrooms and a open living/kitchen area that has room to cram 50 people if needed. I chose the cool paint colors and, although I wouldn’t have picked the kitchen counters, they are expansive. But this is the truth – the reason this house is home is because of the people and animals that inhabit it. I really do believe that I could move into a tent (maybe 2 tents) or a trailer or whatever and make it work with my clan. It doesn’t hurt that my husband’s got some skills and could take care of us in all kinds of crazy situations. Point is – I have found my home with this husband and these children not just because we are related, but because they are “my people”.

When it comes to feeling this sense of home in friendships, things are a little different. Unlike marriage, where the hope is that you select your 1 person and stick with it for better or worse – for good, friends can come and go without any legal nightmares or social disgraces.  Friends are a daily choice. They only remain if you make a conscious decision to make it so. They do not wake up in your bed by default every morning, so in order to have them in your life, someone must be making that happen. What an amazing thing then when you find a handful of people like this that stay in your life no matter what – for as long (or even longer) than a marriage. I have a handful of these treasured relationships, but today I want to highlight one in particular. She’s special, and it’s her birthday.

If something awesome happens – I want to tell Sharon. She will be so excited for me. We both want to win the HGTV Dream House in Nantucket.  If I win, she will hate me for a couple minutes and tell me flat out how jealous she is and how evil I am for entering because that was meant to be her house. Then, we will plan our summer in Nantucket together before we figure out how to divide up the furnishings and sell the house because the taxes are too high.  One the other side of life, if tragedy strikes – I also want to tell Sharon. There is nothing you can’t throw at her. This quote from Henri Nouwen’s book Out of Solitude (such a lovely little read) sums it up perfectly.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

I am thankful for Sharon, for my husband and children, and others (you know who you are) who can tolerate the authentic me without pressing me to be anything else.  I want to be this kind of friend in return.  I want to be this kind of wife and mother and daughter and sister.  I wrote this song, Sweet Home, on many levels.  It started as a simple song about finding your physical home, but it was really much deeper than that.  It reflects the home I have found with my family and the home that I instantly feel with my friends.  It is about the seeking and the finding of that kind of place, and about the time and space and freedom it takes to find it.  So, my precious family and friends, it is a song I will sing over you today.

Sweet Home

V1:

It’s in silence that our words gain their meaning

and in listening that the speaking truly heals

Space will bring us closer to the truth that keeps us free

Lose it all so someday we will find it

Chorus:

Give us room to roam and time for thoughts to wander

Slow the pace and let the wonders be revealed

Leave your striving far behind and rest in who you are

It’s a solitary healing for the heart

Let it go, let it go, all the worries of this world, let em go.

 V2:

Seek the stillness — breathe it deeply

Find the peace that’s hidden far within

Let the sun be your embrace, the sea serenity

You’re a part of all the beauty that surrounds you

Bridge:

The waves roll in and your heart expands

Dreams reaching for the summer sky

The birds cry out with their morning song

Beckon you to come on out and sing along

You are home. Oh, sweet home, sweet home, home to stay.

 Second Chorus:

You have room to roam and time for thoughts to wander

A slower pace to let the wonders be revealed

You left striving far behind and found the truth of you are

A joyful journey for a grateful heart

Let it go, you are home, your heart has found its resting place

You are home