Friday, May 20, 2011

Getting Messy

This week we learned about sensitivity. Through these devotions, I feel as though I have an updated concept of what exactly this entails. Before, I would have told you that being sensitive is being sympathetic to someone's state, however, it is now clear that sensitivity requires empathy as well. Sensitivity extends not only to our relationships with others, but also our relationship with Christ.
As I reflect on the story of Lazarus, the importance of sensitivity in the latter relationship becomes clear. When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he waited a few days before He went to see him. Lazarus' sisters then get angry with Jesus when Lazarus dies because if Jesus had been there it wouldn't have happened. As I was reading these passages, I couldn't help but feel irritated by the way they were speaking to Him, as if the Son of God owed it to them to save their brother, as if it was all Jesus' fault that he died at all, as if they new better how to handle the situation. I think about that last part, and I realize that I am not all that different. How often do I desensitize myself to God's will and His timing and think that I know what I need to do? Or, possibly worse, get clear instructions from God and ignore them altogether. My relationship with Christ must stem from a firm foundation of sensitivity.
The term "reckless servanthood" has also been on my mind. When I was interviewing to be a barney, I remember telling Andy and Tommy a perspective on the good Samaritan that really inspired me. The idea is that when we treat others as the good Samaritan treated the man on the road, we get messy. This man was beaten up, his clothes torn apart, laying as a mangled, bloody mess on the side of the road. In order for the Samaritan to pick him up and ride him into town, he would have gotten that blood and sweat and dirt all over himself. He wasn't afraid of the mess. He was sensitive to the man's condition. This is exactly the kind of attitude I want to display. One that not only helps the hurting, but one that allows me to clothe myself in their filth. Jesus didn't save us by sitting in heaven and sympathizing. He bore all of our sins in His death. He picked up our mangled, bloody mess.

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