A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. Ecc. 3:4
How do engage with God as my storyteller? 3.) I feel the emotions my story stirs up. I come from a family of stoicism. In my home, I rarely saw tears or anger, or even joy. Demeanors were much the same from day to day. Controlled, pleasant, subdued. That teaches a child to sit on their own emotions. To cry, to dance, to feel angry, these felt indulgent, out of control, and inappropriate.
I am to be more God’s child than my parent’s child. At my spiritual birth, I got a new Father who wants to re-shape me to be like His Son. Jesus lived a rich emotional life, not afraid of feeling. He invites me to live as He did ~ authentic to the core. He modeled it in so many ways.
- He called the pharisees vipers. As he shared the Gospel of the kingdom, they rebuffed Him continually. ‘We don’t need that. That’s not true.’ Jesus was angry and called them what they were. A brood of vipers.
- He looked over Jerusalem and wept. A current equivalent would be if I saw the lights of my city come into view and was overcome with emotion. So I pulled my car over to the side of the road, got out, gripped the guardrail and wept. An onlooker might perceive I needed professional intervention but Jesus was acquainted with a weeping that led to wailing.
- He took a stand against bullying. When a dinner guest at Simon’s dinner party performed an outrageous act of worship by pouring expensive oil on His feet, Judas criticized her openly. Jesus not only put a stop to it, He exposed his motives.
- He expressed holy anger when He saw the abuses of spiritual power in the temple. When the money changers padded their pockets, He cried out in protest. He turned tables over, sent coins flying, and confronted those who sold doves that would be sacrificed in a setting filled with pretense and thievery.
When I came to Christ, I saw my need, came weeping, expressed remorse for my sin, and begged for God’s forgiveness. Brennan Manning, the author, said “We can’t receive what the crucified Rabbi has to give until we hold out our arms until they ache.” This is a picture of life with Jesus. I am invited to be the real person He created. I shouldn’t act in a way that is inauthentic…unless it would be sinful to express it. And don’t I love transparency in others? I’ll say, “He’s the real deal. He’s always himself!” As was Jesus.
Whether I worship, dance, or grieve . . . I don’t want to fear. Make me like you. Amen