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Posts Tagged ‘Dead’

It was months in the waiting … five months, to be exact. I had waited so long that I thought I might just lose my mind! There were more bad days than good. Mornings were a time of fear, not sure what I might have to face, as dawn’s early morning light emerged. Variety was no longer the spice of my life, as I was limited by my weaknesses.

Finally, it was time for …

a haircut.

Last week, I got to sit and have what is dry, lifeless, dead

cut away, tossed to the floor, swept up and discarded in the trash.

I walked away feeling like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders.

The old was gone, and I felt like a new woman.

Ever wish you could have other dead weights lifted so easily? Other lifeless parts of your life, left on the floor, only to walk over them on the way out the door, about an hour later?

If only there was a ‘hairdresser’ for …

a downcast heart …

an empty bank account …

an unfulfilling job …

a child with learning challenges …

a marriage of strangers …

an illness or disease …

so that we could walk in, have whatever is ailing us trimmed, cut away, redesigned and walk out again feeling like a new creation, with a fresh start.

There are some who have tried the hairdresser method of getting the life equivalent of a new do. Maybe a divorce would cut away the marriage with split ends? Maybe a second, a third, a seventh glass of alcohol will give a new look to trying life circumstances? Maybe leaving your current job on the floor will give a fresh start?

Is the haircut method, of dealing with the dead stuff in life, the only option? the best option?

Obviously, no one option, for all, is any more appealing or beneficial than one haircut style for all. We were created as individuals, with different lives to live. Not only do we have different lives to live, but we also have the ability to make our own choices in how we will live our lives (and experience the blessings and curses that follow those choices).

All that we share, in regards to our lives, is that we were created to worship our Creator, fully reliant on Him.

It is in recognizing and living in a such a way that we are fully reliant on Him, that we can keep going through the dead, split ends of life …. and put our messy mop lives up into a ponytail … while we wait, in faith, for it to grow out.

The only way for a beautiful braid to be formed is by letting the hair grow … looking ahead, in faith, to the beauty that will come.

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In our world of political correctness and legal actions it is sometimes difficult to know what is appropriate anymore.

If a child in kindergarten skins their knee is it appropriate for their teacher to give them a reassuring hug? If a co-worker has just discovered they have a terminal illness, is enveloping them into your arms acceptable? If a resident of a nursing home is sobbing through the stages of dementia, is it okay for the cleaning person who takes a few minutes to talk with them each day to offer a comforting embrace, and a shoulder for their tears to fall?

We all have social norms as well as written and unwritten rules. In the time of Jesus, one of those rules (Numbers 19:11, “Whoever touches the dead body of anyone will be unclean for seven days.”) was about touching dead bodies. To be ‘unclean’ in the Jewish tradition meant that a rabbi or priest (or anyone from their family) should not come in contact with a dead body, or else they would be ceremonially unclean. If they were unclean, they could not enter the temple to worship God. That meant that they could not come into the place of God, the presence of God.

There is a story in the book of Luke that fascinates me in regards to social expectations and inappropriate touching.

Jesus is heading into a town with his disciples, and followed by a big crowd of people. Coming out of the town’s gates was a funeral procession, for the only son of a widow woman. Jesus saw the mother and said … “don’t cry.” (more on this tomorrow).

He then pushed the social boundaries when he touched the coffin (the hearse, the stretcher) that her dead son’s body was lying on. He, who claimed to be the Son of Man (Luke 6:3), who taught as a religious teacher (rabbi), who healed as a spiritual man, who spoke of God as Father, had intentionally made himself, unclean. He broke the rules that were the foundation of Jewish society, of the society that he was born into. This was a big faux pas, and one that would not encourage a following from the religious leaders of the day.

Then he said, “young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.  They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” (v. 14-16)

Seriously, can you imagine a response other than being filled with awe and praising God? This guy was … dead! His body was being paraded through the town to where it would be buried or laid, and ‘he’, his soul, was no longer a part of his body. But, this stranger from another town (that would make many locals suspicious) tells him to get up, and all of a sudden he is awake and talking. So, of course they would be praising God. They knew that only the living God could do such a miraculous thing.

From the other miracles that Jesus performed, it would seem obvious that his touch was not necessary for the man to come back to life. Jesus did miracles where healing came from his touch, but in other instances, it was the faith of the one needing healing, or their touch to him, or mud. So there was no ‘magic’ in his touch.

It would seem that Jesus is trying to make a point (or teach a new lesson) with his touch. I am not sure exactly what his point might be, but maybe it had to do with the laws and societal expectations. Maybe this was his way of saying, “the old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Maybe Jesus felt it was necessary to teach a new lesson on what was unclean (dirty, contaminated, dead), and how only He could make it clean (whole, alive) again.

Jesus came to erase the political correctness of His day, and I think, that with His ‘inappropriate’ touch on our hearts and souls and lives, we too might be clean and whole and alive again.


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