“You don’t actually believe all that crap, do you?”
There is a good bit of historical record from the time of Jesus. Archaeological. Temples. Cities. Edifices. But unlike the way those today would proclaim their King-dem, the life Jesus led would not be signaled in artifact or chiseled into stone. The life Jesus lived is etched in all of time and for all time. It lasts as we last to tell it. It's reborn in us each Christmas. Rediscovered with each birth of new life -- in us -- And renewed with each loving act. Holy crap! What was that? I didn't know I had it in me.
I need to see some evidence of life before I can declare it alive.
The textbook says that a thing must move, grow, reproduce, metabolize, and respond to stimuli to qualify as alive.
I need to …
- move through difficulty and ease
- grow in spirit and in strength
- reproduce and mentor to replace
- partake only my portion
- do unto others as I would want done unto me
to be fully alive.
There is life and then there’s life, abundant.
I’ll take abundance any day.
You don’t start out the best at anything. The only way to get better is to work at it. Things take practice and patience, trial and error, falling down and getting up. Three years ago this April, I fell and could not get back up. I needed help, which included a repair to the hamstring tendon which had become detached from its site of origin. Sewing and bit of skeletal carpentry would be necessary. (I also began blogging then. You can find that story here.)
Today, the attachment is good as new, but not the hamstring. Oh, it works pretty well. I can run and jump and play without concern. Just every now and then, when I get in just the wrong position, it panics and balls itself up. This is inconvenient and can be a bit embarrassing because there is no inciting event. Nothing startles or irritates. I am just sitting or getting up or kneeling and bingo. Hello says the hamstring and I am at its mercy.
This wouldn’t have surprised anyone back in the days when I hobbled around in a brace. They expected my gimpiness and disability. But now that I am healed, I should be good as new. Well, I am new, but I need to qualify that good. I am the product of repair. I bear the scars, inside and out, of all that life has hurled at me. And that is good. In fact, today I would say that is very, very good.
But oh my, the list. When I go to see a new doctor he wants to know my “history.” Not just of this ailment, but of all the things that have ailed me. What hurts, what has malfunctioned, what’s been repaired, modified, extracted. All that’s ever gone wrong I’m supposed to write on those few puny lines. Oh, if he only knew. Then he would know me.
So, in these days after Easter, I am sitting vicariously with those cowering 11 disciples in the Upper Room. Had I been fortunate enough to be among them in those days, I surely would have been around that table, worrying, lamenting, fearing the worst, right along with them. And suddenly Jesus is among them. They weren’t expecting that, clearly weren’t expecting him. In fact at first they didn’t recognize him. Here’s how John recounts it:
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. ~ John 20:19-22
Once he showed them his hands and side, they “saw” him. I had always thought that Doubting Thomas was the only slow one, but apparently not. They didn’t know it was Jesus, it seems, until He showed them his wounds.
And so I think of my “wounds.” After I die, this is how people will be able to positively identify me. Regardless of the lifeless state of my physical body, people will know me by the dental work I have had done, the thumb tendon I had replaced, the bunionectomy that realigned my right big toe, the scar over my right eye where that girl headed me in the head playing soccer in college, the C-section lines where emerged two of my children, and yes, the stitch marks where they sewed back my damaged hamstring tendon. They will know me by the marks on my hands and feet, the scar on my forehead and the gashes in my butt and belly. They will know me by my wounds, that have been healed. The evidence remains.
How compassionate of the Living Christ to show this to those cowards in the Upper Room. See these? Now you go and live life, battle scars and all. That’s how they’ll know you have lived, just as it is how you know that I live.
When we bolt the doors against fear, we don’t keep hurt out, we lock ourselves in. Thank goodness God broke in to show us the Way out!