Friday, October 28, 2016

When They Look at Me...Do They See Jesus?

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2


My doctor was running an hour behind for my 3-month post-surgical check-up. I didn't mind. A gorgeous green-way runs right alongside his office building. I told the receptionist I'd be back in an hour and happily set off on a walk. 

Memories flooded back from the time period of my first surgery for breast cancer. I had spent a lot of time on that green-way in between doctor appointments that occurred almost daily during the early days of my cancer diagnosis. Strangely, I did not remember the fear, the grief, or the pain. Instead, I remembered how much fun my sister Amy and I had during the extended time she came to stay and aid my recovery. 

I remembered our walks on that very green-way in between countless doctor visits...Our Italian lunch out while meandering along the lovely path... Finding huckleberry bushes and eating them by the handful... Enjoying the beautiful fountains and statues, and creek along the way.


 Laughing. Exulting in life and the beautiful world God created. Funny how the pain or sorrow of losing a breast didn't enter my thoughts at all as I walked along the green-way remembering that time. The only emotion I could recall was love from and for my sister. Gratitude that she was there. Joy knowing God had not left me to struggle alone.

This is a powerful message. No matter what terrible things we endure, love makes them endurable. First and foremost, God's love upholds us. Secondly, human agents demonstrating Christ-like love sustain us through situations we could never pass through alone.

This is a critical truth that I speak at the sidewalks of the abortion centers all the time. I tell them we are our brother's keeper. We are expected to do all we can do to help those in need or heading down a destructive path. Scripture abounds with this message:

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
 
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me... Matthew 25:35

 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. Genesis 4:8-10

My sister Amy is one of the most selfless people I know. She embodies sacrificial love. When I am with Amy, I see Christ moving and acting on behalf of His people.

 That is the type of person I want to be. I want to hold the hand of those who are struggling such that the struggles become less important than the fact that someone is there with them. I want them to find comfort and truth in my presence, and when they look at me, I want them to see Jesus.
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As an aside, the doctor looked at me, and saw a frozen shoulder. He said I need to get to physiotherapy pronto because while it still has some range of motion, frozen shoulders can get really bad really fast. My appointment with a sports medicine PT is Tuesday. I will continue with my fabulous massage therapist and figure between all these professionals, and God, I will be healed.
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Psalm 82:1-8 

A Psalm of Asaph. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. ...

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually. ...

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

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