Tag Archive | Forgiveness

Falling in Love in 2015

I was looking back at this year and realized that I fell into love…. not with a mortal man but with something so much greater.

I have faced unimaginable heart break and walked a fair amount of my journey alone with only the knowledge of God’s presence…..  but I have discovered what it is to love as Christ first loved me.   Its not about being loved by those around me.  It’s not about doing the right things to show my love.  It’s not about feeling loved or even others acknowledging the love I give to them.

I want to share how I fell into love this year, mostly because I know that the one thing everyone craves is love and it has been the only way that the desire has been met for me.

1 John 4:10

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Love isn’t just something that I’m called to give but rather receive.  When I receive God’s love my heart changes in ways that I could never accomplish on my own.

vs 16

God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement: In this world we are to be like JESUS.  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment!

When I fully receive God’s love I’m living in Him and I am made complete giving me the confidence that on judgement day there will be no punishment for me.  There is no punishment in his love….so I have no fear!  What a beautiful thought…..

Hebrews 12: 5-6

My child,

Do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

  and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

Because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

and He corrects everyone he accepts as his child.

God disciplines or teaches me molding me into the likeness of him.  Punishment is causing meaningless suffering out of revenge………          not love.  Just as God loves me through people he will discipline me through people and if I am to love others I am called to discipline and correct others.

1 John 4:19

We love because He first loved us…….

It is only because I have seen and experienced Gods love for myself that I am able to love others.  The fruit of which is

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love does not envy….boast… proud….dishonor others…..self seeking… easily angered….keep record of wrongs…delight in  evil.

Love is….Patient….Kind….Rejoices in truth….Protects…..                    Always Hopes…. Always Perseveres….Most importantly

LOVE NEVER FAILS

I few years ago I shared how God had used the previous years struggles to show me his love for me through the people he brought into my life.  The hardships I faced forced me to reach out to others and allowed me to experience Gods love in a way that I never had before.  I knew of His love and believed in it but I had not experienced it through the people around me that way until I came face to face with my past.

Early on in that experience I didn’t understand what was going on inside of me.  I couldn’t see what God was doing to me, how he was molding me so that I could love others as He first loved me.  I tried to keep the people around me that I thought should love me and there was a part of me that knew they couldn’t love me in the way that I craved.  I thought that if God used people then I had to figure out how to keep those people who I thought would love me in my life.  That was stressful and scary.  I found myself anxious, worried and fearful for the first time of what others thought of me.  I knew that I shouldn’t be, but I couldn’t understand where this fear had come from.  I found myself wanting to test people to see if they would stick around.  No one had ever cared enough to stick around so why would these people.  I wanted to see how far I could push boundaries because I had never come close to anyone’s boundaries before.  When you never let anyone close to you and you never get close to anyone else it is impossible to cross a boundary.  Subconsciously I was sabotaging relationships to see if anyone really wanted or cared to be there for me.  I didn’t want to be someone’s project or someone who was loved out of obligation because it was the Christ like thing to do.  I honestly didn’t believe anyone was capable of loving me just for me.  That anyone would want to have anything to do with me once they knew the things I really struggled with.

I wanted people to want to do things with me….not because I asked but because they genuinely loved spending time with me.  I’m not sure if that ever really happened.  There was a point where I thought it did happen and with a small group of people I let a small piece of me shine.  I had begun to believe that some of them were sincere in the things they said and did.  I was experiencing a feeling that I hadn’t really felt before and it was so precious to me that it terrified me.  I thought that for the first time I was feeling truly loved and accepted by others.  Inside I was scared that it would be wrong because people shouldn’t have the ability to make me feel so good.  God was the only one who should make me feel that way.  When I tried to talk to a few people about it I was sadly misunderstood.  I walked away condemning myself for something that was a gift from God to be cherished and shared with others.  I actually believed that I didn’t know how to love right…..sounds silly I know…..but if you’ve never walked in my shoes you wouldn’t understand and to walk in my shoes you would have to know my story.  I’m not sure any of those people in that small group really knew me or even cared to. What I have come to know is that for the first time I was connecting with people on a level that I never had allowed myself to in the past.  That feeling was from being accepted as part of a family, a sense of belonging and most importantly not being alone.  Was I feeling love?  I don’t know and I’m not sure that I really care.

Sadly I was so conflicted  with what I should be doing, or even worse, what I should be feeling so that I wouldn’t lose them….. because I was told I needed them and without them God couldn’t love me.  I needed to make those relationships work but it turns out all my effort was in vain and I think its pretty safe to say that I have lost all of those relationships in the last year.  I could be wrong…. and I’m not dead so there is time for things to change.  I know that I have changed a lot in the last year and that other people change too.  I also know that God is bigger than all of this mess.

I’ve watched God use this to take me places I would’ve never gone to otherwise.  When I first left last January it wasn’t meant to be a Goodbye.  I was loving them as Christ first loved me.  Sometimes that love is painful and looks more like discipline.  It may not have been my choice to leave but it is my choice to return.  I’ve found healing these last 11 months and have grown in ways that I never would have had I stayed and simply kept my mouth shut.

The word I thought God had for me in 2015 was forgiveness.  Now that I’ve reached the end I realize that while I learned a lot about forgiveness I learned even more about LOVE.  I thought I needed to forgive but I had already forgiven the people who hurt me.  I wanted them to understand my pain not because they could fix any of the damage done to me but so they could learn and be able to help others like me without doing more damage.

Learning to rest in the knowledge of God’s love for me has released me from the anxiety and worry of what others think of me.  I am no longer disappointed by those around me nor do I look to them to justify myself.  There are still many days that I spiral down and things set me back but God always pulls me back to his truth.  Love is everything,  the most important gift I can receive and offer to others.  It is only because of Love that I am able to be fearless where I was once fearful.

The word I believe God has for me for 2016 is FEARLESS!  I believe God wants me to learn to step out and face some of my worst fears and the only way I can accomplish that is by relying on the knowledge of His love for me and what it means for me.    I’m sure I’ll make mistakes and fall more than a few times but I know he’ll be there to pick me up with or without people in my life.

The last verse I would like to share with you is

2Timothy 1:7

For He has not given me a Spirit of timidity but rather one of Power, Love, and of Sound Mind.

God has blessed me with the gift of the Holy Spirit and through the Holy Spirit he reveals knowledge of who He is, which in turn gives me the Power that allows me to Love and have a sound mind.  This verse has become a foundational rock for my spiritual journey.  As I look to this next year my goal is simple ….. rest in the knowledge of Gods Love for me and not run in fear from the Love he is trying to bless me with.  I don’t know if it will be new people or people from the past but if the Spirit leads me I will have nothing to fear.11951370_10206212650048639_4150848054172693234_n

 

 

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Father’s Day

Mother's Day 005

        Father’s Day for me, is a bittersweet day. I think most people, if they stopped long enough to think about it, would agree with me. Whether you’re young or old I think that life’s experiences have made this day a bittersweet reminder of the father in our life.

There are many different Fathers honored on this day which is why I believe it to be bittersweet. There are those Fathers who have passed on and have left a family saddened by the loss. While others are embracing the new role of fatherhood for the very first time.

Then there are those who never had the opportunity to know their Father for any number of reasons, some good and some bad.

But there is a Father who is often time overlooked and the memories of whom brings great pain. These Father’s often times live a life of regrets for the mistakes they’ve made with their children. They painfully watch as their children limp through life with the wounds they themselves inflicted. They often struggle with the guilt wishing they could somehow fix what they’ve done. Their children want to pretend that their Father was a “good” Father and so they set off for the card aisle at the store only to pick up one after another that just doesn’t seem to fit. They want to be honest but they also want to be loving and that seems to be impossible to find.

So this Father’s day no matter what kind of Father you are I want you to know that YOU are a PERFECT FATHER!

You were made by a God who does not make mistakes.

Yes! I know you may have made mistakes and if you haven’t made any yet, the day will come. When that day does come and you’re looking at your children wondering what did you do?

I want you to remember that YOU are FORGIVEN!

God will fix the mistakes you’ve made and use them for his glory.  Every time you mess up is an opportunity for God to show off his mighty power. God is our ultimate perfect Father. If you were perfect your children would not need God.

In case you’re wondering……Yes!

        My earthly Father did hurt me and scar my heart.  But because of his mistakes God was able to reach down from heaven and reveal his great love for me. He is healing my wounds so that I can be the person he created me to be.  So this Father’s Day I want to honor my Father not just for all the good things he’s done in my life but also the bad.  I wouldn’t change it and I want him to know that I forgive him. I hope he carries no guilt and can forgive himself for the mistakes of his past.   My desire is that he will look to the future and see how God’s grace is there for EVERYONE who accepts it.

I wrote the following poem as I struggled to figure out who God was as my Father.

Daddy

Daddy, Daddy, Daddy
Keep me safe, Hold me please
Wrap your arms around me, till the world all fades away
Speak your words of wisdom, wrapped in Love and Grace,
Hurry please! Before I run, for fear of your embrace
I’ve tried escaping here on earth
But every time I turn around I see you standing there
Your arms are open wide
But the question in my mind is are you full of love and grace, Or are you full of condemnation?
I know I have done wrong and forgiveness is supposedly for me
But trusting you,
Somehow
Seems wrong to me
My hearts been stolen many times, But you still claim your innocence
I’ve picked the locks a hundred times while you possess the keys
You promise me unending mercy for the imperfection of my heart
You promise healing from my journey, making me a reflection of your heart

Mother's Day 014
So Daddy Please
You’re the one I want
Your love embracing me, your love chasing me, your love protecting me
Daddy it’s you I desire to please
Fill me with your peace so I can rest my soul
For you alone will make me whole
Daddy it’s your Love,
Your unending perfect love that sets me free.
November 25, 2012

Rose Among Thorns

Rose

You are like a long stemmed rose, each layer of your inner beauty is revealed as yet another velvety red petal…..

The rose has been a symbol of love and beauty since the beginning of time.

Sometimes I wonder why?

Why red?  Why this particular flower?

There are so many other beautiful flowers so why the rose?

Is it red because it symbolizes the blood of Christ that he shed for us?

Does it remind us of the perfect love that God has shown us through his son?

and so my mind wanders on to……

What about the thorns?

Do they remind us to be careful …………..because where there is love there is pain?

Does it remind us of the crown of thorns that Christ wore in his death?

The pain he suffered because of his love for us.

Or maybe it’s because anything of beauty is worth fighting for…….taking risk……are you worth the risk?

Or perhaps its because beauty needs to be protected because it isn’t free and it’s priceless to those who obtain it.

 Then there are…….

Multiple velvety red petals that start off tightly woven together in a tiny bundle only to slowly open into a breath taking picture of beauty……

Is each petal a piece of who you are?

Each one a characteristic that makes you unique……

As time goes on do the petals fall and wither away just as seasons in our relationships?

Every heart has layers that slowly unfold when we take the time to stop and look.

So I wonder…….What does my heart look like?

It is said that every woman wants to be loved and wants to know that she is beautiful.

I believed that to God I was beautiful and that He loved me.

I told myself that I didn’t need anyone to love me or to think that I was beautiful because I knew God did.

Something deep inside of me wasn’t right though.  I didn’t fully understand what was going on.  I was still sad and there was a deep longing for something so much more.  God wasn’t enough for me but I knew he should be.

I was mad at myself because I couldn’t find contentment in just knowing that God loved me and thought I was beautiful.  I needed more of something cause I didn’t feel loved or beautiful and all I kept hearing was don’t believe your feelings.

What I’ve learned though after 3 years of running, losing 60lbs, and desperately trying to find friends that I can trust……

Is that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of me.

I’ve been told I’m beautiful and that I’m loved ……..

But it still didn’t do anything for me…..

So What’s Wrong With ME?

No one could tell me I was beautiful or love me enough to make me feel loved and beautiful.

The problem wasn’t anything that anyone could fix.

Anyone but me……

So this is what I’ve learned

Mark 12:29-31

The most important command that Jesus gave us was to Love the Lord our God with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our mind and all of our strength.  The second was to love your neighbor as yourself.

So how do I love God? 

(I know this question doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with feeling beautiful or loved so bare with me as I explain what God showed me through scripture.)

This was a question I wrestled with.  Do I love God by reading the bible and praying?

I found that I got discouraged because I always seemed to fall short somewhere.  I was trying to live up to the standards I found in the bible and I knew that I was forgiven but it didn’t make me feel any better so what’s wrong?  I wanted to be perfect for God but I couldn’t be no matter how hard I tried and I hated myself for it.  I was trying to be what I thought God wanted instead of who he created me to be.  I hated myself and that has been the root of my problem.

God showed me that in hating myself I was telling God he made a mistake.  I was throwing in God’s face his own creation.  Would you tell God he made an ugly sunrise?  or He should’ve made the leaves on the trees purple instead of green?  Every time I looked in the mirror and wished I could change something about my physical appearance I was doing just that.

So part of loving God is learning to love my own body the way he created me.

I now love myself by taking care of my body gently and not abusing it.  I still run but not excessively.  I try to eat better although there are days that I still struggle.  I choose though not to beat myself up over those shortcomings.

Luke 6:37

Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn and you will not be condemned.  Forgive and you will be forgiven.  Give and it will be given to you.  For with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

I used to think that the standard I use to judge others is the standard that will be used against me but it’s so much more than that.

When I judge others I am at the same time judging myself or holding myself to that same standard.  I am the one who judges me not anyone else.  When I forgive others I am at the same time forgiving myself for those same mistakes.

So the other part of loving God is realizing that no one can judge me but me just like no one can forgive me but me.

Bottom line here is……Do I want to feel beautiful and loved?

Then I need to Love myself……letting go of imperfections that God doesn’t see because of the cross.

realizing that I am all I need to be and forgiving myself when I make a mistake instead of beating myself up.  Not trying to be something I can’t be and taking off the mask in front of people that love me.

If I can learn to do this for myself then I can learn to do it for others.  If I can’t love myself how can I possibly love others?

If God lives in me then it makes sense for me to love myself first and then love others second because after all God lives in them too.

I can’t say that I have perfected this but I can say that I do truly believe and feel Beautiful.  Sure there are still things I don’t care for but it doesn’t change how I view myself anymore.  Rather on focusing on what’s wrong with me I focus on the things I love about me and let those attributes captivate me.

Now feeling loved is another post I have yet to write.  I’m still learning this one, but for now my comfort is in knowing God loves me even when I don’t feel it.  So  now I leave you with my definition of beauty and a poem I wrote when I finally realized the beauty in me.

Beauty isn’t found in physical appearance or even outward behavior,

Beauty is found in knowing who I am deep inside and having the courage to be who I was created to be!

I am beautiful,   I am Beautiful

Those are the words I felt

I didn’t just hear them or read them.

I felt them penetrate deep within the protective barrier around my heart.

The words ignited a flame from within me

It grew and spread quickly

Its flickers warmed the cold hidden corners of winters past

The corners of my mouth slowly turned upward as the realization of what was occurring unveiled in my mind.

these words weren’t simply written or spoken to anyone who could see or hear

God spoke these words in the language of my heart

to me and only me

He told me I am beautiful

Therefore I AM!

 

Lesson’s in an Epic Failure

I recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of 20-30 youth, I wasn’t exactly thrilled since I have never spoken to a group like  that before.  Now speaking isn’t necessarily new because I’ve spoken at board meetings and small bible studies surrounded by friends but as far as a group of people I don’t know well……. to share something that God has placed on my heart, it was a first.  It all came about because the week before I found myself sitting in the back of the sanctuary as one of the leaders was giving the lesson and God began to press upon my heart to share a lesson I had struggled to learn that was along the same lines of topic being taught.  I went home and spent 3 days just praying about it and asking God what it was exactly I was supposed to share.  I knew the point and I knew the story I just wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to say it.  I am a writer so I’m used to planning out everything going down on paper and if I don’t think it sounds like what I’m trying to say I can always go back and reword things.  Speaking however is completely different and once a word is spoken there is no taking it back.  You can try to explain and maybe the listener will understand but maybe they won’t.

Sunday morning came and I found the courage to ask the leader if I could share.  The response was put together an outline with supporting scripture on the topic you would like to share and get back with me.  I went home thinking more about what I should say and the possible verses that would go with it.  After some prayer I came up with an outline and scriptures to go along.  I wouldn’t say that I was nervous,  I was just curious where God was going with this.  I didn’t think that I was qualified to be speaking and wasn’t sure how I would be received.  I also wasn’t convinced it would all come out the way I wanted it to either.  I have this problem that when I get in front of people my mind freezes and I can’t think straight so most of the time I don’t say much.  At a board meeting I’m usually just giving facts on a situation and it’s nothing personal.  This was different and knew that by sharing I had the ability to speak into the lives of others.  I didn’t want to say something wrong and negatively affect the lives of these kids.  My purpose was to share a struggle I’ve had in my own walk with God in hopes that it might encourage them and perhaps bring freedom to someone.

The night came and I thought I had realistic expectations of the evening.  I knew it wasn’t going to come out the way I wanted it to and I also knew that it might be an epic failure.  I did however know that it was what God was asking of me and that he would give me the words to say.  I also knew that he could take anything I said wrongly and fix it.  This was for God and no one else,….. so really no matter what happens it was in his hands.

I started with this prayer.

Lord,

I come before you tonight and thank you for all of the precious souls you have brought here tonight.  I thank you for the opportunity to speak to them and that you would soften their hearts so that might hear and see the words that are spoken.  I ask that you give them understanding and that my words might glorify you.  I pray also for your protection over us as we go home tonight and as we go through the next week.  I ask this all in Jesus name Amen.

After that I’m not really sure what I said.  I know what I intended to say and I know at some point I froze and wasn’t sure where I was at or where I was going.  I prayed and just let go of every expectation had.

What I tried to say was that just because I’m now a Christian doesn’t mean I’m never going to make a mistake again.  I used to think that if I was truly a Christian it meant that I would be given the ability to do the right thing all of the time.  Because that didn’t happen I was constantly asking Jesus into my heart.  I thought that somehow I must not have done something right if I kept screwing up.  I would hear of drug addicts and alcoholics who would change in one day.  I used to think that because I couldn’t just change at the snap of my fingers like they did, that something was wrong.  What a lie the enemy told me.  I knew all of the sin in my heart that I struggled with, we all have it and we all struggle with it.  Most of us hide it from everyone afraid to tell.  We are afraid of the judgment, afraid we have somehow not done something right.  The truth is……being a Christian doesn’t mean we won’t struggle with same sins but rather we are forgiven and free from them.  I guarantee you will still struggle but the battle is won and the world will take every opportunity to tell you of all the negative things that you are.  You can listen to the world and believe what it tells you or you can listen to God.  You can’t just know in your mind what the scripture says you are.  You have to believe it.  For the longest time I knew in my head what God said I was, but I didn’t believe it.  The world was constantly telling me all of these negative things about me and because I could see it myself it was so easy to believe.  I knew that God said I was beautiful, smart, and funny but to the world I also knew that I was ugly, stupid, and worthless.  I always told myself that it didn’t matter what the world thought of me because one day I would be in heaven where the truth was and I would be free.  What I learned after years of struggling is that it’s not enough to just know the truth of what God says of me.  I can be told a million times that God loves me and that he says I’m beautiful, but that didn’t help me believe because that was not how I was treated.  Not even by the church.

 1 John 3:16
This is how we know what love is….Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, and we ought lay down our lives for our brothers.  Dear children let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth,  this then is how we know that we belong to the truth,  and this is how we put our hearts at rest whenever our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything
.

I had been told by people and read in the bible over and over how special I was to God but what I didn’t experience was that truth followed up by action.  It wasn’t until someone actually took the time to show me by their actions that I truly began to believe the truth in God’s word.  This is why it is so important that our actions match the words out of our mouths especially since we all know actions speak louder than words.  What are your actions telling the people in your life?  How can you show the person next you that you love them?

Below is a little something that I read to myself when all I can hear is the world telling me how bad I am.

Daughter of the King

Listen to yourself

What are you saying?

Did you screw up?

Do you think you are stupid?

Are you crazy, fat, ugly or worthless?

You would never tell anyone…..would you?

You hide it inside

Ashamed of the truth of who you think you are.

Is it really you?

Stop!

Listen again

Do you hear it?

There’s a faint whisper

What do you hear?

What is it saying?

You’re smart

You’re sane

You’re the beautiful daughter of a King

Listen closely

It gets louder

Louder every time you hear

Louder with each word

Till it SCREAMS and you can no longer deny

Deny who you are

Smart, Sane, Beautiful daughter of a King

Not just any King

The King

The King of all kings

He has claimed you

You are his

To him you are smart, sane, beautiful

Perfect just the way you are

Precious daughter of the King

I know I’m not perfect and I also know that everything didn’t come out the way that I wanted it to that night.  I do know that I was obedient to what God asked me to do and that I did it to glorify him.  I also think some might think it was an epic failure or so I heard.  What I didn’t expect in all of this is that God would give me the opportunity to walk out what I just shared in my own life.  The test came just 15 minutes after I finished.  The world telling me I was wrong this time it was even in words.  I had a choice what was I going to believe?

I curled in the stairwell and prayed searching for the truth in the words I had heard.  I went home that night and a friend prayed with me asking God to please convict me of anything that I may have shared that was wrong and if not to please show me clarity in the situation.

I woke up early the next morning to go for my run and while I was out God began to speak.

Monica,

Didn’t you just speak on not listening to who the world says you are but to who I say you are?

Yes Lord.

Who do I say you are?

I am your beloved daughter.

Did you get up and speak because I asked you to?

Yes Lord I did

Then your motive was pure and you were obedient to the calling I gave you.  I am the one who determines if it was a failure, not those other people.

There is a lesson here.  You didn’t exactly do as I asked.  You did what you thought they wanted not what I asked of you.  You took your story and tried to teach it.  That is not your talent.  Your talent is telling stories whether it be in writing or speaking.  Follow my son, did he teach? Or did he tell parables?

He told parables!

Monica,   sometimes our epic failures are simply to show us what we are not good at, so we can discover what we are good at.  You my darling, are good at parables, don’t try to teach, let the lessons come naturally through your story and they will be more meaningful to your audience.

I’m sure there are people in my life who might read this and judge me harshly and I don’t care.  I used to, but I’ve given up caring what anyone in this world thinks of me.  I know my savior is tucked safely in the core of my being, breathing life into each beat of my heart.  I will say that it is easier to believe what God says about me when the church backs up those words with action.  But even if they don’t, I’ve learned to believe in the truth of God’s word and its through his grace that I am able to extend forgiveness to those who have hurt me.


 

What if I was Jesus?

What if the blind man could see the stars in the sky but fail to see the hands that painted it?

What if the deaf man could hear the sound of whispers yet miss the calls of a loving Father?

What if the paralytic could feel ground but never the arms of a loving Father?

What if the lame could walk on water yet never make it home?

What if the man who could taste the richest of foods could not taste the sweetest of honey?

What if the man who lived the longest was the first to see his death?

What if the strongest man could lift a car but not his own heart?

As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho a large crowd of people followed them. There were 2 blind men on the roadside just outside the city gates. They heard that Jesus was going by and cried out “Lord, Son of David, Have Mercy on Us! The crowd turned to the blind men rebuking them and telling them to be quiet. It was wrong for them to call out to the Messiah for help. Wrong of them to ask for what they so desperately needed. They were not worthy of Jesus’s time. That is what the crowd was saying to these blind men. The 2 blind men wouldn’t listen to the crowd of people instead they shouted louder and louder until they were screaming “Lord, Son of David, Have Mercy on Us!” Jesus stopped and called back to them saying “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” they answered “we want our sight.”

Jesus had compassion on them and he touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and they followed him.

How many times have I walked past the city gates and seen the blind, the deaf, the paralytic, the adulteress, the prostitute, the orphans……….How many times have I tossed my coin and kept on walking? How many times have I said to myself “that’s all I am called to do.” How many times have not given it another thought? How many times have I inflated my ego by their misfortune?

Too many! That’s how many.

God showed me a very important message in this small passage.

What does this look like today, in our society? We don’t exactly have city gates, we do have those beggars on street corners with their card board signs. I’m not sure that is the same thing so hear me out on this. What if this little passage was more than just Jesus healing two blind men? What if it is an example of something far more important but shown in a physical way so that we might understand.

What if Jesus was showing us how we as Christians can reach out and touch someone? And no I’m not talking about calling them on the phone, but then again maybe I am. Maybe it is all about “reaching out and touching someone” not in the physical sense as Jesus did but in a relational sense.

Look around you and open your eyes. What do you see? I see a world of broken people. People who are hurting and wounded inside. Many of whom are blind and deaf, but don’t even know it. Some though are blind and deaf but do know it and are crying out for healing. They are even crying out for Jesus to heal them just like those two blind men. What if in order to experience healing they need to experience the touch of Jesus? How does that happen? I’ve been told by so many fellow believers that we are the hands and feet of Christ. If that is true then don’t we have the ability to reach out and touch the hurting? We can’t just touch them where we feel comfortable touching them. Jesus didn’t touch the blind men on the arm or simply shake their hands. He touched their EYES. He touched them in their wounds, where their deepest pain was. He didn’t tip toe around it either. He went straight for the heart of the pain and didn’t waste time.

How many times have I avoided a topic of conversation with a friend simply because their pain made me feel uncomfortable? Or maybe I wasn’t willing to be that person they needed me to be, because I was still hurting. Maybe I am too afraid of experiencing the pain they are in, as if it were contagious. How many times have treated someone like a leper? I know I am guilty just as much as I know I have been treated the same. So this brings me back to the main point. How much suffering is going on in the world around us because we as Christians are unwilling to be the hands and feet of Christ where it really matters? Giving of our hearts and sharing the joy and love we experience within the body of Christ with those that are wounded and hurting.

There are some things in my life that I have never experienced and there are areas of my heart that are deeply wounded. I have cried out in frustration and it seems as if the only response I get is the rebuke of the crowd so I wonder to myself “are they right???? or do I just scream louder?” The two blind men screamed louder but I wonder how long I will have to wait for the hands of Jesus to touch my pain so I might find healing. I always thought that if I prayed for healing for an emotional pain that it should be instantaneous, if I ask for forgiveness I should be able to snap my fingers and move on. I don’t believe it works that way. I believe God brings healing through people who are willing to be used to reach out and “touch” us where we need it. If we are hurt in a relationship it will be a relationship that brings us healing. It might even be a reconciliation of the same relationship or it could be a totally different person filling the same role that brings healing to the soul. I also think that sometimes it takes time because we are all human and we don’t always do what we are told, when we are told to do it.

Wow! That reminds me of obedience.

Moving on to that last little line in the story. Actually it’s not even a line it’s more like a phrase. Immediately they received their sight and they followed him! So if I take the time and the risk, to touch a wounded heart where it is the ugliest….. Healing could be immediate AND they could see the same Jesus that I see and follow me home to our Fathers house.

So now in the words of my Pastor “you think about that!”

Forgiveness

The tears keep coming

I take a deep breath and push them down

I force my mind to happier times

Where the sun shines and children laugh

Then reality pulls me back

Oh no!

Here come the tears,

Here comes the pain

Oh Lord please!

When will my bottle be full?

How many tears must fall?

The pain will subside when I release it

I have to let go

I have to forgive and that’s not easy

Forgiveness is a skill that must be practiced

It is learned over time with the help of the Holy Spirit

It is not natural

It is a choice ……and a difficult one at that

It’s a choice that I don’t make once

 I make it every moment of every day

I am not perfect, so there are days I don’t forgive

God’s grace is there for me in those moments

The more that I choose forgiveness the easier it will be

See….Forgiveness isn’t for you

Its for me

Funny thing is the hardest person to forgive…….is myself