My Writings. My Thoughts.
In the midst of the quiet sounds of the ocean and the wind blowing through the caverns of the coastline, the man found his inner silence deafening.
All the voices had left him – he could not recall a time like this. His mind was clear, and his heart longed for companionship.
The words of Jesus remained with him.
He stood up.
He made his way home.
She lifted her wind-damaged face from the dust of the wilderness. Tears etched a cleansing path down her weathered cheeks. She’d not cried like this for so long – vulnerability was too much to risk.
But the sound of his voice and the gentle touch of his hand softened her heart to the remote possibility of hope.
And she gathered the courage to turn her head and look up.
The fact remains, no matter what the tone of how Jesus spoke with his trainees when it was revealed they could not deliver the boy, Jesus was not overwhelmed with the evil.
He could see deliverance on the other side of the oppression. The disciples thought they could see it, but no. The father wished he could see it. The boy was perhaps over the notion of hope.
But Jesus was unperturbed by the hold of evil over a life. He knew it ultimately held no authority.
Famished, he staggered into camp, longing for some nourishment after a long and frustrating hunting trip.
Finding the source of the delicious aroma at the ladle of his younger brother, he decided that he would do anything, give anything, for a hearty meal of that stew – and he did.
He leaned forward, and began looking them in the eye – one by one. He knew his next words were unlikely to bring the reassurance they carried.
After humiliating himself as a worthless servant before them, he then spoke of his departure, then of his betrayer, and then of Peter’s impending denial.
‘Uneasy’ was an understatement. None of them were in a hurry to speak, lest he predict something against them. If not for his strange display of servanthood, they would be angry, insulted, perhaps estranged.
So now, Jesus’ words of reassurance had little hope of landing – but he said them anyway.
As he walked back toward his people, a million questions raced to the front of his mind. He remembered when he was faced with these same walls 40 years ago – it was hard to believe the moment had ﬁnally arrived.
He ached inside over the fact that Moses was not with him – he never imagined they would cross the Jordan, and enter the promised land without him … Oh, the Jordan … Joshua’s Red Sea experience – but this time the people weren’t running from the enemy, but moving towards the enemy.
It took four long years to get to this point. Four years of early mornings to get to the city gate before anyone else – hearing the complaints of the people, listening to their stories, affirming them in their concerns, winning them over, and, slowly but surely illuminating the weaknesses of the current king’s rule in the minds of the people.
Now was the time. He asked his father’s permission to go up to Hebron to “worship”, and at the same time sent a secret message out among all the tribes of the nation. Now he had the momentum his conspiracy needed.
It was all too much. The boy’s father sat in the dirt, next to his beaten and bruised son. Thankfully the evil seemed to relent for a time, giving his only child some reprieve from his torment. But he could see his boy being destroyed – physically … emotionally … and in his spirit.
He reflected on the night before. After so many failed attempts of deliverance from the oppression, it was a last ditch effort when Jesus’ followers offered to help. He was unsure. So many empty promises of healing had emptied him of all hope – no telling what effect it was having on his boy.
They insisted – and he hesitantly nodded and motioned them toward his son.
And so he sat there in the wake of yet another gut-wrenching disappointment. He could no longer with-hold the emotion, and his body began to convulse with grief.
Then a crowd gathered – the teacher approached from his night on the mountain.
“How can he sleep in THIS?!!” Matthew screamed at the top of his lungs. He glared at the fishermen as they struggled to maintain a straight course for the other side of the lake. He looked into the eyes of James, then Andrew for some confidence in their safe passage – but he found no such assurance.
What began as a routine journey across this somewhat unpredicatable body of water, had quickly escalated into a life or death situation. Even the seafarers amongst them were exhausted physically and mentally, and were now incredulous at the ability Jesus had to sleep so soundly in the midst of an unprecedented storm.
So they woke him.
They could never have predicted what he would do next.
“You would think I’d be ecstatic or excited – or even just hopeful.” he thought to himself as his friends carried him toward the crowded house. He looked at his mat sentimentally as they jostled him along, “I’m just glad they can’t read my mind, but if this man can do what they say, I’ll miss this mat. It’s been my only security since the accident – my safe place in a world of insecurity and change.”
The truth was, since his world came crashing in all those years ago, he’d changed – for the worse. As faithful and supportive as his friends and family had been, he knew he’d treated them like dirt. And that was putting it mildly. He didn’t deserve friends like this. He didn’t deserve to be carried to Jesus. He didn’t deserve the healing they thought he would receive that day.
As they lowered him through the hole in the roof, he was wracked with guilt.