Tag Archives: touch

The Mask

2014-07-19 12.34.39The Mask,
putting on a front,
disguising,
protecting,
hiding the reality.

I don’t want you to know me,
to see me
as I really am.
I want to pretend,
to show what I want,
to hide my vulnerability,
to protect the real me.

So I show you
this mask,
‘I’m fine’,
‘That’s great’,
‘If only you knew’ –
Don’t rock the boat.

Don’t let anyone see,
the pain,
the hurt,
the stress,
the truth.

Don’t let them touch
the scars,
the reality,
the story
that makes me who I am.

It’s not pretty,
but it’s me.

Can I?
Should I?
Let you see?
Look?
Ask?
Throw off  the mask?
Break the mould?
Let you see?

Will it hurt?
Will I be laughed at?
Gasped at?
Will you like what you see,
rather than the ornate cover?

Is that a risk I can take?
Or a reality that has to be lived?

Can we all live that way?
Face each other
in truth,
honesty,
reality.
Not hiding,
disguising our reality,
pretending;

but living,
loving,
supporting,
holding
one another,

in truth
and love

Knowing What You Need

You know what it’s like when you want something, but you’re not sure what it is.  Something to just fill the gap.  Like being a child in a sweet shop, so much choice, and not being able to decide…

Sometimes though, being specific is important.

Mark 10:46-52

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

46 Jesus and his disciples went to Jericho. And as they were leaving, they were followed by a large crowd. A blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting beside the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus from Nazareth, he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” 48 Many people told the man to stop, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, have pity on me!”

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him over!”

They called out to the blind man and said, “Don’t be afraid! Come on! He is calling for you.” 50 The man threw off his coat as he jumped up and ran to Jesus.

51 Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man answered, “Master, I want to see!”

52 Jesus told him, “You may go. Your eyes are healed because of your faith.”

Right away the man could see, and he went down the road with Jesus.

I love this story, it’s full of colour and action.  Bartimaeus hears Jesus pass by, and starts shouting to him.  People tell him to stop, but that doesn’t stop him and he cries out all the louder.  Jesus calls to him, and he jumps up, throws off his cloak and runs to Jesus.  He knew what he needed – and he knew Jesus could help.  And all done with such enthusiasm.  I think I might have got fed up waiting by then, or been a bit slower to respond when Jesus did call me over.

ceridwen [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Do we know what we need from God?  Are we prepared to cry out him in our need?  Will we carry on asking, even when others tell us to shut up?  Do we jump up and run when Jesus calls? Do we allow him to touch us in our darkness?

Lord,

I need you,

and what you have to give me.

Help me to acknowledge that,

to keep calling,

to respond to you,

and receive your blessing to me

Scarred for life

My skin is rubbish at healing.  I have all kinds of scars from stupid mishaps, and operation scars that look horrible because they just haven’t healed well.  But those scars and what they represent, are part of what make me who I am.

Scars are a sign that something has happened to our bodies. A scar is defined as a mark left, or a lasting after effect.  We are different from how we were before.  Scars are not just physical, they can be emotional too, and can effect us in all kinds of ways.

There are many on the internet offering scar removal – but that may just remove the visible mark, it doesn’t effect the fact that something has happened in our lives.

In Genesis, Jacob is involved in a fight, a struggle, a wrestling match.   Jacobs has been a troubled life.  Now he is on his way to be reunited with his brother Esau.

He is spending the night alone. During that night a man appears and wrestles with him.  This struggle lasts until almost daybreak.

Jacob is scarred in this encounter, but also changed and blessed.  His name is changed, he is given a new start.  He has wrestled with God and he is no longer the man he was before.  And the final act before the man leaves – to bless the newly named Israel – what Jacob had asked for.

“Stuff” happens in life.  Life as a Christian does not get rid of all the bad things that happen.  We are not immune to tragedy and hardship.  God does not lift us from the life that everyone has to live.  That would not be fair – and I don’t think it would be good for us.  I don’t think it does anyone any good to have their life made easy for them.  Great enjoy the smooth bits, but don’t expect it all the time.   There are things we have to grapple with. There will be tragedy and pain that happen to us.  We all carry scars of some kind.

 

I suppose the difference is what we do with those scars.  Do we pick at them, so they never get a chance to even begin to heal?  Are we aware of our own scars, and those of others, and be gentle where it’s tender?  Do we learn to live with them, and allow them to change us and the way we behave?  Are we willing to let God touch us and leave his mark?

There will be times when we will need to wrestle with God.  Times to ask questions, work out who he is, what he means to us.

There may be circumstances in life we have to wrestle with.  There may be scars we are left with that challenge us – but as God touches our lives, so he blesses us.

Scars are horrible, but when they begin to heal they can change us.  They are not to beat us down or destroy us, but they help to shape us and equip us for our calling in life.  Scars make us more sensitive.  Being touched by God can change our lives.   Wrestling with him brings his blessing.

Do we wrestle with God?  Are we willing to let him touch us and change us?  Will we let him bless us?  Can our scars help make us someone new?

 

I’ve been musing about what I was trying to say about this passage all week, and then today, Day 14, in The Methodist Prayer Handbook 2010/2011, Martyn Atkins shares this prayer, which seems to sum it up:

God does not always lead by the shortest route,

because some things are best learned on long journeys.

God sometimes leads us into the wilderness,

as well as by still waters,

because some destinations are reached with scars as well as smiles.

God urges us to travel light,

but also to take things of our precious past with us,

because some things remind us

where we’ve come from

and bring hope of a future.

God guides in different ways,

sometimes half-hidden, as in a grey cloud,

sometimes blazingly clear

because God’s people are called to travel

as God guides them,

and there is never a time

when God’s guidance fails or ceases.

As Jesus said, “I am with you always.”  Amen

copyright Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes