Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I am willing

"I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cured.

Again, a picture of outstretched hands; this time to a supplicant, not a prisoner. Once the skin lesions disappeared, the guy goes and tells everyone, and everyone seeks out the lonely man with a band of fisher-followers. In Henry III's (1017-56) Bible, the man is recognizable with a red helium-like halo circling his head for above-average distinction. (Just so we know that this is Jesus.)

Philip Yancey asks the question in one of his books (I think What's so Amazing About Grace?): would I have thought Jesus was a looney (or ET given the middle age reinditions) if I had lived back then? All historical accounts prove that he walked on our earth, that a strange religion sprung up quickly and couldn't be snuffed out even by some of the more ferocious Romans then or later (Nero, for example). So, the fact that Jesus walked, that there were onlookers in his crowds (sceptics like Thomas for instance), makes me wonder along with Yancey, what my reaction would have been. Yancey puts himself in the Pharisee crowd -- well educated, a definer of a perceived truth, part of a religious elite .... And me? Maybe my mood this a.m. answers that for itself.

I woke up this morning mad at the world and at myself and at my children. If Jesus had a halo illuminating his path in this dark world (saith the middle age artist), then I must have heels of dry ice which stream out vapors and blinding fog. In this fog, I encounter what's here in life. Yes, Francis Schaeffer, all truth is God's truth no matter where it may be found, but in the fog, things pile up like they did on the Missouri river bridge one morning near Boonville. Several people died because they hit the truth of a stopped car in front of them in dense fog.

This morning, I was mad at the environmental, the external. I was mad that I can't sequester my family away to make things less complicated. I was mad that I have no super-shield to block "sexual themes" or "violence" away from my son in video games. I was mad at video games. I was mad at myself for allowing video games. I am mad to be pulled into what is considered entertainment. I am mad at my husband for being a blue-lighter (male in front of tv at night). I am mad that my daughter thinks looks are everything. I am mad that she spends so much time with makeup and hair. I am mad that she wants namebrand clothes. I am mad at myself for allowing her these things. I am mad, I am mad, I am mad. I feel at fault in partnership with the external.

Yes,this is a hostile case of waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

Honestly, it has all been creeping up with this Christmas season. The children want more, and I am fed up with stuff. I set the law down with my hubby last night to limit what he gets me. I do not want more than what costs $20. Yet, by the look on his face, I don't think he will comply because before I wanted more music, more lotion, more books. Dry ice on my heels.

So I'm feeling like I have lesions on my skin. Lesions of the world's stuff and desires and misinterpretations of the good. I feel they've attached themselves very securely to me, here to stay, here to infect my kids, here to filter into my marriage. I've invited them in a way because of lack of viligance against the external.

I'm in such need that perhaps on a morning like this one within a crowd staring at the ordinary non-haloed One, I would have moved to him, fallen on my knees, and asked for an extraordinary thing. Strength. Purity. Lesion removal.

If you are willing, you can make me clean, dear Lord.

I am willing.

Ah, please continue to help us all.


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