This is me, two and a half years ago. I think I look pretty good on the outside. Appearances can be deceiving. This woman is losing her mind, spiraling deeper and deeper into a black place she feared she would never escape from. She is also terribly afraid that if anyone knows the depths of her pain, they will write her off as way too much to handle and drop her. She's afraid that she's too much already.
It's Christmas, and a lot of people are smiling fake smiles, afraid to take off the mask and let anyone in. Remember this. Love them.
I've been reading the book of Mark the last couple days and I've made this list of people Jesus helped in just the first six chapters:
Working class men. People with severe mental illness. People possessed by demons that scream insane things in awkward situations. A sick elderly woman. People with disgusting, communicable diseases. Lonely, isolated people cast out from their families and abandoned by friends. A man tormented by guilt from his past, paralyzed from the neck down. People in sleazy, disreputable careers. People with all kinds of handicaps and disabilities. A smelly, weird, loud, self-mutilating homeless man that is so obnoxious and difficult to be around that he lives in a cave in a graveyard outside of town. Grieving parents who have just lost their precious little girl. A woman who has embarrassing, painful bleeding issues in a society where there are no tampons or pads and you're supposed to isolate yourself during your period, so she's probably been pretty much isolated for the last 12 years since her problem started. Annoying, needy people with no sense of social norms.
These are the people Jesus was drawn to, with no hesitation. He saw them. He wanted them. He healed them and restored their lives. Jesus saw *ME.* He saw me in my black prison and did not turn away, but had compassion on me.
Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” - Mark 2:17
Jesus. The best Christmas present ever.
|That's a real smile: freedom and living a life outside of fear.|