Worse than not looking like me, is not feeling like me...(I think)
Here I am, theorizing again, but now that I have begun chemo, and before it has changed my outward appearance, it has changed the way I feel. Normally outgoing and friendly, ready to join in almost any conversation, I walk through masses of people, feeling fuzzy. The room almost "spinning" as the cliche goes. And just when you're not sure if anyone else can notice how you're feeling-so out of place-a total stranger walks up to you, in a place where you are a "regular", and utters these words: "Are you alright, ma'am?" Ugh.
I found myself identifying (some might say mellow dramatically) with the "Gadarene Demoniac", the man with the unclean spirit, of Mark 5, in the Bible. The story says of him:
"And always night and day he was in the mountains and the tombs, crying out, and cutting himself with stones."
Ok, now even I think that sounds a little mellow dramatic! I'm not saying I was sitting there contemplating injuring myself when the helpful young man came up...I'm saying that this Gadarene guy was not the one cutting himself either. He was merely the guy trapped in a situation where he had no control. Someone or something else was calling the shots. And that is miserable.
Cancer is-at the moment-my "someone or something else" calling the shots...what is it for you? What has you so turned around, that you don't know whether to worship Jesus, or to fear him? (Mark 5:6-7). Is He your cure, or your judge? That can be the question in your head, and like the Gadarene, it was put there by demons themselves. The demoniac (full of demons identified as "Legion") put his hope in Jesus-the demons themselves begged Him for mercy and received it! And what was the outcome? If you know the story, you know a herd of pigs took a demonic leap into the sea...their herdsmen got really freaked out and told everyone in town...they all came out and saw the Gadarene "former demoniac" sitting there dressed and fully looking and feeling like himself again.
Happy end of story, right? Not exactly. The townspeople were scared of the big giant change that had occurred. Sure they had been trying to contain the demon possessed guy for years, tried chaining him, maybe even praying for him...and now, clearly, something huge had broken through. But it wasn't something they felt comfortable with. It had cost them something. Pigs, maybe, or maybe just normalcy. Things should go back to normal...in a normal way. Their brilliant plan to regain normalcy? Beg Jesus to LEAVE.
Jesus did leave. But not in a huff. Not shaking the dust off his feet from the undeserving town. He left there, among them, one abruptly changed life. And this charge to the transformed man:
"Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you. And he departed and began to proclaim...all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled."
I don't know what you're going through...I don't know what stage it's in. Are people looking at you side ways, wondering if you're alright? Are they avoiding eye contact all together? Are they asking you how you're doing, and hearing what they want to hear? Are they uncomfortable with the way Jesus is delivering you? Too quick, too dramatic, too slow. Too untraditional? They love you, (or maybe they don't), they want to help you...(or, again, maybe they don't). Just remember, they can't. There is only one Who the winds and the waves and the demons and the substances obey. Put your hope in Him, and you will never be put to shame. And, eventually, all will marvel.
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