Those close to me know I'm likely to get misty-eyed or outright bawl over anything that pulls at my heartstrings. The sentimental, nostalgic, idealistic, romantic, etc… whatever you may call it… some of us cry over even the smallest bits of endearment that cross our paths… whether it be a commercial, a quote, or a movie… there may be tears that ensue. I bawled at the end of the movie Safe Haven… big boo hoo's that required like half a box of Kleenex… I get tears every time I watch The Holiday scene with the little girls tent. My eyes wet listening to Gary Allan sing on the radio… his country songs sum up how beautifully bittersweet life can sometimes be… I shed tears when I hear of someone killed by a drunk driver on the late night news… because I know part of the hell and pain that is impending for their family.
Two years ago when I walked my old neighborhood one late afternoon I encountered an elderly man in his nineties who was raking leaves. He was a frail man with beams in his gray eyes but he was sharp as a tack. We struck up a conversation about his life… his time serving in the war, his job… and when I asked him if he was married his eyes glazed over with sweet recollection and he smiled sadly and said "She passed away three years ago." I told him I was sorry and gave him a comforting pat on his arm, noticing he still wore a gold wedding band. I commented on it and he smiled at me like a dear that he even had to explain and said "Well, yes I do… she's not here but I still love her." It began raining, I bid him goodbye as rain drops speckled my face and shoulders and I bawled the whole way home… where were men like that? In some odd sense he was like a sweet beacon of hope and promise. I sniffed as I wiped my nose like a three year old with my lightweight jacket sleeve.
I didn't have my daughter for Christmas this year so I spent the day in… catching up on things I had been wanting to do… baking brownies, watching some movies, organizing all the important papers that seem to take over in the most innocuous way and finally settling on the couch to read a book I had been wanting to read for quite some time. Maybe you have read it…
In Chapter 3 it talks about Jesus having dinner at the home of Simon the Pharisee and the prostitute that attends that dinner to see Jesus… she had no invitation extended to her but she was so determined to see Him because she realized now that God loved her and wanted to forgive her… that He would put the broken pieces of her life back together…
Picture the scene. Jesus is reclining at the table. Instead of using chairs they would lean on an elbow that was propped up by a cushion. Their feet would be away from the table. This woman approaches and stands at the filthy feet of Jesus. The table grows silent. Everybody is watching. Everybody knows who she is. What is she doing? She looks around at the guests. She feels from some that familiar glare of condemnation. Others keep their eyes down, embarrassed by her presence and the awkwardness of the moment. But when she looks at Jesus, he seems to know what has happened in her heart. He gives her a warm smile. He seems delighted that she has come, and he looks at her with the eyes of a loving father watching his beautiful daughter as she enters the room. She has never had a man look at her that way before. She is so undone by this that the tears come, just a few at first, and then more. She falls to the ground and begins to kiss his feet. Soon, the tears are just pouring down her face. They begin to drip onto the dirty feet of Jesus. As she looks at the muddy streaks she suddenly realizes that his feet haven't been washed. She can't ask for a towel, so she lets down her hair. In those days women always wore their hair up in public. For a woman to wear her hair down in front of a man that was not her husband was considered grounds for divorce. She lets her hair down in front of Jesus and there was likely an audible gasp. She begins washing the feet of Jesus with her tears and drying them with her hair.
At the end of the story Jesus says to Simon:
Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn't offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn't greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
Luke 7:44-46 NLT
Here, then, is the question you and I have to ask ourselves:
Who am I most like in the story?
When is the last time you had a moment with Jesus like this woman in Luke 7 had? When's the last time you've poured yourself out before him? When is the last time the tears streamed down your face as you expressed your love for him? When is the last time you demonstrated your love for him with reckless abandonment?
I am not asking if you know about him, I am asking if you know him.
I read that passage and bawled.
Because it really speaks to how important Jesus is.
I was reading Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman
The question if we know about him or know him cuts right to the point… right to the heart of our relationship or lack thereof with Jesus. So I ask you as well… are we fans or followers of Jesus? It's a good question for us to ask ourselves and reflect on. It forces us to look at the relationship we have with him (or believe we have with him) with fresh eyes and close scrutiny. It has made me re-evaluate with close analysis. If you haven't read this book, it is a must read… Kyle is someone who tells it like it is… his writing is infused with humor yet sobering reflection and honesty.
I want to be moved by life… not embarrassed by it having a tender affect on me. I want to know that the enormity of having a relationship with Jesus, him wanting that relationship, his dying for my sins brings tears to my eyes, that it moves me… because if anything in this world should move me to tears, to a stirring, to action, to gratitude and praise... it is Him.
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