Just recently I can see how there is a specific desire and passion welling up in me as I learn more and more about Jesus. Let me share.
Jesus came, He says in Luke 4:18, for this purpose: 'The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free'
|Thanks to my friend, Sean Glaze, for this beautiful picture!|
In the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:4, Jesus taught, 'Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.' A promise.
Psalm 56:8 says, 'You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.' I have always hated crying, but He hurts with me and must think that my tears are important and significant enough to save.
Matthew 9:11-12, 'When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?" But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick."' - Jesus chose to hang out with those who were sinners, who were choosing a lifestyle that wasn't godly, who were mourning and weeping, who were broken and hurting. He wasn't drawn to those who were pretending to have it all together and to already be righteous, like the Pharisees. Those who could not humble themselves enough to admit their weakness missed out!!
So, over and over we're shown how much Jesus loved and comforted those who were a hot mess!! I am taking extreme comfort in the fact that in my weakness, He is strong. But I'm wrestling with this: If we are the hands and feet of Jesus - shouldn't we be doing what He did? Shouldn't we be weeping with those who weep (Jesus wept)? Shouldn't we be comforting those who are broken? I realize that we do not live in the biblical times of weeping and wailing and tearing your clothes when you are sad, but I bet those people were healthier. I bet that they grieved well. I bet since emotions were shown when needed, others were not scared by it and knew a bit more how to comfort and encourage. Of course in these days, we need to have grace that not all understand what to do to help those who are hurting! Some though, are gifted in mercy-showing and encouragement and prayer. We live in a time where emotions have become 'bad.' Why over the years has it become the norm to stuff and ignore and deny our emotions?
Many, many, many people are suffering silently and some are brave enough to show that they are a very blessed mess. Whether they are trying to be perfect, trying to earn love, depressed, anxious, hurting physically, mourning a loss of relationship through death, divorce, a move, or an ended relationship, trying to be all to everyone, facing an addiction, being abused in some way or another or living through the consequences of bad choices - wow, I could go on and on and on. People are hurting...badly...and most of us just push that emotion away and fill our time with more stuff, more serving, more things, better things... I know. But sometimes He allows us to break and that emotion that we thought was gone...well, it makes an untimely appearance. He has said to me, 'Amy, you can't keep it up, always trying harder. You are tired and weary and I have come to give you rest. You are unwell and I am your Physician. You are broken and I long to make you whole.'
I close my eyes and see the church filled with open arms to allow others to wail and tear their clothes in sadness...filled with those who are accepting and understanding when it takes years to heal and change ...who are comfortable around emotions of all kinds. I'm seeing heaven I'm sure - Jesus, really. But, as a friend recently said, "And if my Lord showed compassion for the lost and broken of the world, how much more should we not show that same love and compassion to our own who are suffering in silence. You are not alone. You will never be alone."
Another small step of being more like Jesus. It seems these new desires and passions are spurring me to explore opportunities to allow others to have a safe place to express their emotion and be accepted while doing so. I trust that He will reveal more of what He wants me to do with this when the time is right, for now I'm resting in all I've learned.