Learning the unforced rhythms of grace


I Just Need More Info . . .

One of the things I love about Jesus is how he answers questions. 

In John chapter 9, Jesus and his disciples were walking down the street, it says, when they saw a blind man sitting on the ground, begging for money. So they asked Jesus a question.

When I imagine this scene, I imagine one of the disciples grabbing Jesus' arm, stopping him in the middle of the street, out of listening distance from the blind man and and pointing in his direction. I imagine their question was a whisper. After all, they were just trying to understand, get more information, learn, find the formula . . . that was what following Jesus was about, wasn't it? They probably assumed that Jesus would answer their question simply, they would all nod and say "Ah, yes, right, hmm" and keep walking by having been good students, good disciples. 

So they asked Jesus, "Who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?" Jesus simply answered them by saying "You're asking the wrong question" and as he continued to explain, he walked over to the blind man, spit in the dust, made a clay paste and rubbed it right on the man's eyes. He instructed the man to go wash in the Pool of Siloam. The man did, and his sight was restored!

The rest of the chapter is amazing (you can read the rest here) But these first verses are the ones that have stayed with me. 

The whispering, pointing, analyzing and "figuring out a theory about someone" is what the disciples were doing. They were trying to understand. But they stood at a distance. They stood away from the person in need. They stood as judges, determining fault, examining evidence and questioning motive. They were trying to become educated, or justified at the expense of leaving the now judged man in his present state. Jesus walked toward the man, squatted down in front of him, touched him, basically putting his spit on the man's face. How much closer could one get than that? 

I love this about Jesus. He is literally "in your face" with how close he gets. And he does this over and over with people. The woman at the well wanted to discuss theological issues and Jesus instead looked her in the eyes and asked about her previous five-husbands-now-new-boyfriend love life. He went for the heart. He saw the hurt, the wounded-ness, the hiding behind academic, theological discussion and invited her to be healed. 

What about you and I?

If Jesus and his disciples walked down my street today, and the disciples stopped, pointing in my front window (where I am currently sitting) and whispered . . . asking Jesus, "What's her problem? Why is she the way she is?" Jesus would correct them (as he did in Scripture which is kinda cool!) but then he'd walk over and (oh, my stomach just went into a knot thinking about how intense this would be!) and he'd knock on my door. I'd let him in. He'd see my brokenness, my wounded-ness my greatest fears and he's get right in my face and offer healing. Not necessarily physical healing, but maybe something internal, something that needed heart-healing . . . Jesus would know, he'd see through my hiding, my cover up ways and address my deepest need.

Jesus answered his speculating, analyzing, needing-more-information disciples with this: "You're asking the wrong question. You're looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world's Light".

This week, let's allow Jesus to heal us. Let's stop talking about other people like they are a specimen in a lab and let's get up close, love, pray for, care for, practically attend to the needs they have and ultimately point them toward Jesus, the healer!

Let's have that kind of week!