Friday, January 14, 2011

Ask, Seek, Noke

"noke befor coming in"   
      I went to hang my purse and found these words of Kara's taped to the coat closet door, the space she moved into this morning with her school work, and over which she has now claimed ownership.  I love every bit of it, even the seven year old spelling that makes her mama cringe, but I know will be all right in time.  Here is the message, reproduced as I found it:
"if yo need a coat or Gloves or a hat
noke tree times if you are bringig me samthing
noke two times
if you are telling me somthing noke 1 time"
     Sometimes in a busy house, full of people, you just feel like you need a minute to be left alone, a space to call your own, a door to shut between the noise and needs of everyone else.  Don't I know all about that need?  Don't I know all about how soul weary I become when my needs aren't met?
     In Matthew 14, which I read this morning, Jesus upon hearing of the death of John the Baptist withdraws to a lonely place.  But not lonely enough.  As soon as the multitude heard of it they followed Him on foot, out to the not-so-lonely-anymore place.  I'm encouraged knowing even Jesus needed time alone with His Father, time away from the demands of the multitudes.  There's only one problem, Jesus is never alone for long.
     When Jesus sees this multitude He's full of compassion for them, healing their sick and refusing to send them away though the hour grows late.  This is a Savior I want, one who doesn't grow tired of people, people like me, coming and always wanting something more of Him.  He's full of compassion, even for me.
     Earlier in the Gospel narrative John the Baptist sent to Christ from prison wanting reassurance that He was indeed the Christ.  When Christ sent His answer, His conclusive proof that He was the Messiah, He didn't speak of hours in prayer or signs of God's glory.  The proof  Jesus sent was a list of His acts of compassion, acts that fulfilled the words of Isaiah (Isaiah 35:5-6 and Matthew 11:1-6).  This compassionate Savior is the One Isaiah looked to in hope.
     Any encouragement I receive from Christ's times of solitude must be quickly followed by the call to compassion.  Like Christ I must welcome these interruptions remembering that little sheep need a Shepherd and I am pointing them to Him.  Christ didn't call me to live alone, in a convent, or as a hermit in the desert (though it sounds SO enticing).  Christ has called me to live here, in the midst of family and community.  Christ has called me to be present and full of compassion, just like He was.

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