That cry of desperation … “But you have to believe me!” That cool response of doubt … “Give me one good reason why I should.” The tiffs of lust! Timeless and universal.
The Lust phase of Love is exciting! Passion on steroids! A storm of highs and lows anyone who has been Lust Full remembers forever. Oddly – the “lows” are usually just another trigger for a “high”! And then Love creeps in and the lows become a trigger to wipe the memory of the highs … and if Real Love of the unconditional kind survives and thrives … then Life is for Living and Loving!
You must believe me!
As a reason for trusting anyone – that reason comes fairly low on my own list for living. Which brings me to Jesus. And his miracles. And all that healing. Some with the touching – the laying on of hands and fingers – yet so many without all “the showmanship” – where just a word was sufficient – sometimes just a word to the petitioner: time to go home and celebrate with the miracle-ee.
This morning’s miracle was the showmanship option:
”Then Jesus returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”” Mark 7:31-37
Heads, shoulders, knees and toes.
Our younger grandson, TomTom, loves this one. Loves the actions. Loves the touching. He is not so keen on the versions which remove one word at a time while still doing the actions. But whatever he is doing – when this nursery rhyme comes on the tv – he mimics the movements.
Our older grandson, Alfie, hears the same nursery rhyme but confuses his “eyes, and ears and mouth and nose” with “nose or ears or chin or head” – or any body part really. Ask him to do the dramatic “let’s shout for so-and-so” and he will cup his ears – rather than his mouth – as he calls.
So to Jesus and this deaf mute.
I guess lip-reading was workable. Possibly not perfect. So a murmur from Jesus might not have been an obvious “wow He has healed me” for this fellow. And a word to the man’s friends even less intelligible. Even less “wow”.
“Remember our batman days, Paul?”
You mean the “dinna-dinna-dinna-dinna … batman!!” song, the KAPOW, THWAAACKK, the batmobile, the smoke as You did “donuts”, and then the batmobile window sliding down, Your gloved finger appearing and that lovely “beckon” – that “come here and be amazed” moment … I don’t know what you are talking about Lord!!
“Bit dramatic – bit “showmanship” – don’t you think?”
And yes it was. It was very wonderfully Lustful. It was me saying to Him – “Give Me One Good Reason Why I Should!” – why should I believe You, God of all Creation, of all Time, of all Space, of all Everything – as I sit here by myself with my bible – give ME one good reason why I should believe YOU!
I never got fried. I never got zapped. And He never – ever – said “But YOU have to believe ME!”
My God always played.
My God (of all Creation, etc, etc, etc … THAT God!) got Himself dressed up as Batman and drove the batmobile … did the theme tune … did the donuts … did the gloved finger thing … … … just … … for … … me!
Back to the song: “Heads, shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes … ”
Now sing along to this version: “Ears, finger, spit and touch, spit and touch … ears, finger, spit and touch, spit and touch … Now look to Heaven and tell God it’s good … Ears, finger, spit and touch, spit and touch.”
“There is no one answer, Paul. There never was and there never will be. There is only relationship: Me to you, you to Me, Me to him, you to him to her to her to him to him to Me. Always. Always one at a time. That is relationship.
And it struck me (just like our batman days – but without all the dramatics) …
How often do we “good Christians” play?
How often do we play instead of “telling.” And I hear in my own ears that universal “good Christian cry” – “But you have to believe me” – and then the “killer verses” – the “proof” – the “evidence.”
Maybe because playing with just one person in the way they “hear” and “see” and “live their lives” is too just much “small potatoes” for us good Christians – because we are programmed to reach hundreds … thousands … trillions with “the answer” … “the verse” … the evidence: But you have to believe me!
Falling numbers in “church”? We want hundreds! Despondency over this “cruel world”? We must convince millions it is a cruel world (“So believe in God because His creation – this world – is crap!). Evangelism? Reach out to everyone – save them now – today – bums on seats – we must have bums on seats – Jesus Himself told us to!
We try that with Alfie: this is how you do it – it is on the screen – we are all doing it – LOOK!! … and Alfie still cups his ears when we are cupping our mouths to do the “dramatic shouting thing”.
You know something?
If I could reach inside Alfie, if I could connect with Alfie and speak his words, his language, his understanding of life and living … I would just burst with something so profound I cannot even find words to write it … it is just too much “HUGE potatoes” to verbalise!
Just like Jesus did, God Soft Hands Jesus does, and God always will … with “me” … WoW! (and I have HUGE difficulty verbalising what THAT means to me)
Jesus does “small potatoes” … He plays … He listens … He brings the answer … one person at a time.
I like that!