Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lenten Reflection #29:Not Magic Words

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:15-18

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
John 14:23

Bad days are a part of my life.  As a pastor and as a fire fighter I am often with people on the worst days of their lives. What I have learned through the years is that my words are inadequate for the situation,  There are no magic words that can be said that will change the bad day to a good one.  I don't profess to have an "abracadabra" phrase that will comfort the hurt, right the wrong, or reverse the situation. Words, although we want to say something, really are limited and usually fall way short of conveying the comfort, hope and care that we want to offer someone in the tough times of life.

Jesus does not offer us magic words.  Jesus offers us himself.  In the midst of our worst days and toughest times he does not say remember what I said in such and such verse.  He doesn't say hold onto that promise I gave you.  He is our comfort.  He is our healer.  He is our friend.  He is with us.  He comes to us and makes his home with us.  He is our advocate in the midst of our troubled times.  He does not leave us to face the situation alone.  He gives himself to us.  He does not just give us words he gives us himself.  We can hold onto Him.  We can find shelter in Him.  We can can receive strength from Him.

As followers of Jesus, who are called to love and care for one another, this ministry of presence may be the greatest thing that we have to offer one another in the midst of tough times.  Rather that just coming up with a cliche to try to make things all better with a few words, we can follow Jesus' lead and be there.  We don't have magic words but we can be there to help weather the storm with them.  We can be a visible sign to one another that we are not alone in the tough circumstances of life.  By doing so we may just make real the presence of God for someone without ever saying a word.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

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