I am a Leper

I love the movies…getting lost in a dark theatre and a good film.  So, I was lucky to be able to go with my mom this weekend to see Risen, which is about Christ’s resurrection through the perspective of a non-believing Roman soldier, Clavius.  (I would highly recommend this film.)

There was one scene that  really connected with me.

Towards the end of the movie, after Jesus has risen, Clavius is with the disciples in Galilee. Clavius asks the disciple (I can’t remember which) if the disciple really had believed that Jesus would rise again.

The disciple replied honestly that he had had his doubts, which prompts Clavius to ask him why he had even followed Jesus then.  At this point, a scene unfolds of Jesus healing a leper.

The disciple responds that this is why.  I interpreted this as it was the miracles that led this disciple to follow Christ.

While I have seen God’s hand, I couldn’t help thinking that this isn’t why I follow(ed) Christ.

Mine is still the leper scene, but for a different reason:

When Jesus walks to the leper, who has just been beaten, shooed out, completely rejected by the people, Jesus goes and kneels by him.

Not just BY him, though.

RIGHT next to Him.  Completely within his personal space.  Jesus basically envelops him.  Completely wrapping himself around the leper.

He cradles and strokes his face.  He holds him tight.

Then, Jesus tells the leper to go if he believes.

This is it.  This is why I follow Christ.  I am the leper.

It is not in the miracle or the healing.

It is in the intimacy and comfort of the loving arms of my savior who sees me, the diseased and broken leper.

He sees my need for Him, but also sees me as worthy (though not deserving) of salvation.

He sees my need for purpose as He tells me to go in faith.

I follow Christ because I am a leper in desperate need of His loving arms enveloping my broken soul.

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Celebrate Jesus

“one thing they did was celebrate their faith as a family”

We talk a lot about faith in our family. We even blog about it. Faith is easy for the majority of us, it’s the circumstances, life, that is hard. Faith is easy.

Our deeply rooted beliefs guide every major decision and alter our attitude and outlook daily.

We talk about God daily, about picking up our crosses, our burdens, answering yes and the trials that may ensure.

We aren’t called to an easy life, as a family we get and accept that.

But, in the midst of all our heavy faith, during heavy situations are we forgetting to celebrate it?

I don’t mean giving thanks, we do that, a lot.

I mean stopping what we’re doing to play the guitar and flute and march around the living room to sing about the one we love.

celebrate Jesus

Nici does this. He puts on parades and sings his “momma” song (and it melts me). I can feel his pure love and adoration as he falls into my lap after his numerous parade marches in my honor.

When is the last time I collapsed into my Father’s arms, not because I was tired and weary, but exhausted from singing His praise. Overcome with joy in His presence.

Am I just teaching my children that faith is hard, or that faith is worth celebrating even when it’s hard?

-J

I Take After Peter

But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.

“Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly?

Matthew 26:51-53

When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” And one of them (Peter) struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear.

But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

Luke 22:49-51

like peter2I take after Peter- not just ready to fight, but so eager to fight I cannot wait for orders.

My fights are generally noble, justice prevailing, peace producing goals…

Amd although I havent literally cut off a man’s ear for Jesus, I think our goals are somewhat similar, fighting for Jesus…

And yet our instructions are clear “put your sword away,” “no more of this”

Fighting leads to more fighting- nobody’s ear may be cut off, but disagreements will grow larger, death creates more death, hurtful words create more hurt.

But Jesus goes even further than just not fighting…he HEALS his enemy. The very men coming to take him away!

To lift up the very person who is in the process of hurting you or your loved ones?!

I am a fighter. It is in my nature, my blood, my wiring.

And yet- God says to adjust my battle tactics. No more swords, no more dagger words, no more fighting.

We are called to a lot of things in this life, especially as warrior women.

But one simple command trumps them all:

Faith , hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Especially with all the upheaval in the world today I must learn to slow down my battle cry. To stop and listen to my commander…

And when I am called to the front line, to act, to fight, in love.

-J