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.

Christ Among Us

Christmas – Christ among us, taking on our form, knowing the touch of our skin, our little blip of a world as viewed through our eyes, choosing to live life time-and-place bound, feeling our losses, our celebrations, our hopes, our deceptions. It is a wonder beyond description, a mystery beyond explanation.fullsizerender-1

It was The-3-in-1-United who understood, who understands, the full meaning of what happened that night of His birth, when the cornerstone was thrown into the center of an infinite ocean. The ringed waves of His love and His life-giving grace continue to spread through all time, to all of us.

I went through much of my life unable, unwilling maybe, to connect to God in the form of a man. Too vulnerable, too messy, too frightening, too weird. But I live in a human body with a human brain and a human heart. And trying to know God while boxing off that part of Him left me cold, confused, and often doubtful.

Although I could never adequately explain this in words, there came a point where I needed the tangible, palpable love of the human part of God so much that I could no longer live without it. And at the moment of that realization – there He was. I immediately understood that He had always been right there waiting.

Even though I know my physical skin did not rest in His hand and the tiny bones inside my ear did not vibrate to the sound of voice, it felt that real. Maybe it was that real in some dimension I do not understand.

What I do know is that it was Jesus who met me in my desperate hour. It was that Christmas baby grown, gone and raised again. It was the Son of Man, my Savior. He was and is Emmanuel, God with us, then, now, and forever more.