“Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” (Mark 5:19)
If for a moment I conclude that God is far removed from my world, I need only skim a few pages of the Gospels to gather an altogether different story. I find Jesus by the sea and in the fields, caring and loving, teaching and touching, healing and helping, giving and serving. By his actions Jesus proved he was approachable, reliable, compassionate. Where he traveled, wherever he turned, he affected and transformed lives, leaving them far better off than he found them.
He revealed the face and the heart of God; he is still about that task today.
The carpenter from Nazareth did not impress everyone. Some wandered off unaffected or perturbed. When I take him for granted, lock him into a box of my design, am less than amazed at his work and his ways, I imitate them. I have a propensity to be self-absorbed, when all the while he is front and center, dazzling and astonishing.
He wants to reveal himself in the ordinary places, in the cramped corners of my busy world; I am often oblivious.
He bends low and enters my sphere, seeking me out at sea level, at eye level, on level ground. He is Immanuel: God with me—God for me—God by my side. As the waters roar and foam, he climbs into the boat with me. When I foolishly presume that he is unaware, I join the disciples and accuse him unfairly: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38). He speaks to me, as he commanded the weather all those years ago: “Peace. Be still!”
The wind ceased that day in Galilee and “there was great calm” (Mark 4:39). He still affects me just so.
Photo Credit: Bill Mitchell