Monday, November 28, 2011

Just Look at that Filthy Gown!

What was at stake there? In the biblical account of the woman with the issue of blood, she could have risked her life just being in the crowd. According to tradition and law at the time, with a disease such as hers, she was unclean, and anything or anyone she touched became unclean, too. At the very least, she’d have to cry out ‘unclean’ as she approached like the lepers. If discovered, imagine the outburst from those she’d just made unclean.

Being the inquisitive person I am, I can’t help but wonder if anyone recognized her as the diseased woman or if they all focused on getting to Jesus. (How many other unclean people were in their midst?) All four gospels tell us she had this medical condition for twelve years. She’d spent all her living on physicians and none could heal her. Surely there had to be someone in the crowd she’d fear would recognize her. She was an outcast and had been for a long time. No wonder she cowered in fear when Jesus asked who touched Him; the fact that she was in the crowd was pointed out to everyone.

If we wrote this as a superhero cartoon, it might read: Filthy Monster meets the Spotless Lamb, doesn’t sound like the lamb has a chance. This unclean, or filthy, woman had to either presume that this Man of God would heal her, or that she would make Him unclean, too. She sought to reach out and touch the very opposite of what she was.

If detectives touch something at a crime scene, they risk contaminating evidence versus solving their ‘who-dunnit’. There’s risk involved until you know for sure and go for it. Matthew 9:21 tells us this woman was sure: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

Isaiah 64:6 tells us that our righteousness is as filthy rags before a holy God. So dressed in our own righteousness, we wear filthy rags. And it’s in those wretched, filthy rags that the God of the universe invites us to reach out and touch perfection. Instead of us making Him unclean, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

Ponder this: If I reach out to Him, what's the worst/best thing that can happen?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Chisel Marks

This interruption [from blogging] is brought to you by NaNoWriMo. That’s National Novel Writing Month for those who don’t know. We’re challenged to write (at least) 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November.

I first took up the challenge in November 2009 and was declared a winner, because I exceeded the 50,000 word goal. I think my novel was around 67,000 words when I put it down. I’ve not finished that story yet. Then last year I started another but didn’t make the mark, I stopped at around 25,000 words. This year I’ve started a novel I’ve titled: Chisel Marks. It’s a fictionalized version of my life. I’m altering the characters from my real life so no one will know who I’m really talking about, besides me. [Big grin!]

When they asked Michelangelo how he made his statue of David he is reported to have said, "It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn't look like David."

- Michelangelo

He also said: I saw an angel in the block of marble and I just chiseled 'til I set him free. – Michelangelo

(Did you know that Michelangelo was only 26 years old when he sculpted David?)

This is what God is doing in my life – chiseling away anything that doesn’t look like Him. I was made in His image, but I’ve been hiding behind lies and deceit, locked away in doctrine and false conceptions about God, my purpose and who I am in Christ. He’s ‘chiseling ‘til he sets me free!’

Who hasn’t asked themselves, Who Am I? Let the chiseling begin!