Jesus

Me Too

“Me too.” These words have sparked a revolution. What was hidden in darkness, now brought to light by one phrase. A silent, hidden fire burning to surface. Things that should never have happened…DID. This world is not as it should be, and women have been assaulted, harassed, and victimized as a result.

It’s unfortunate to think I wouldn’t be surprised if “me too” appeared as every woman’s social media status across the globe. And I wonder what would happen if women throughout history were given the chance to lend their voice.

I’m reminded of a woman who, centuries ago, would have great reason to join in the “me too” campaign. She was ostracized by society not only for her gender and race, but also for her reputation. The supposedly upright of society shamed her to the point she ran errands at odd hours of the day just to avoid the crowds. Although, men with depraved appetites would gladly seek her out. She was used to it.

Until she met a man who was different.

He wasn’t interested in what she could offer in the way of physical pleasure. Instead, he was interested in offering her something of greater value. Something that would satiate her deepest thirst. You see, she was so used to being treated as an object of men’s gratification that she’d started to believe it to be true. As she sought pleasure in being the source of others’ pleasure, she suppressed her truest self, her greatest needs, her noblest of desires. In essence, she’d buried herself alive.

But Jesus spoke to her with respect. He treated her as the valuable treasure that she was. He listened beyond her words, into her heart. And he knew her in the way she was meant to be known. And as a result, he sparked a revolution that changed her life and that of her community.

That was his way. Not just with her, but with all the women he encountered. They were treated with dignity and honor in ways no man of that day, or of history beyond, had done.

That’s what I love about Jesus, and why I choose to follow him. I’m thankful that he’s set me free from all the false notions of womanhood set forth by society. I’m grateful to know my purpose is so much more than many men of today would say of women. I am not an object. I am a treasured creation of a loving God, who prepared in advance good works for me to fulfill.

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Greater Outcomes

There are greater outcomes when we endure the furnace of affliction with grace, allowing God to birth in us a deeper compassion through the fire.

 

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The Battles we Fight

We’re each granted our own share of battles that when we emerge victorious we might also battle on behalf of others.

 

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A Deeper Love

Those of us who bear scars love on deeper levels than those who have not endured the fires of affliction.

 

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Blood-red Compassion

Through our scars we bleed blood-red compassion that brings others to know the healing that is found in Christ.

 

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Healing Wounds

Yes, by his wounds we are healed. But have we forgotten that we also are called to be like Christ? If he suffered, how are we to presume that we will live a life free of suffering? And if we are healed through his suffering, shall we not bring healing to others through our own suffering?

 

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The Purpose of Scars

My son is very proud of his scars. He loves to share the stories of how they came to be, giving play-by-play accounts of how he got that scrape on his knee or the bump on his elbow. In vivid detail, he’ll describe exactly where he was on the playground, what he was doing, and how he tripped and fell or whatever other catastrophe transpired. If we’re lucky, we might get a re-enactment of the event, minus a repeat injury.

As much as he loves elaborating upon stories of his own calamities, he equally enjoys sharing how his friends got their ouchies. It’s not that he revels in their pain, but that he empathizes. When a friend gets hurt, he understands. He’s been there.

At times, I’ve seen him put his arms around the shoulder of a crying friend, sharing one of his many stories of just why he can relate to their pain.

Imagine a world void of such compassion. It’s terrible enough to suffer. And yet, to suffer alone?

Some churches falsely teach that we’ll never suffer. “Christ suffered in our place, on the cross,” they reason. “And by his wounds we are healed. Therefore, we’ll never be wounded.”

Yes, by his wounds we are healed. But have we forgotten that we also are called to be like Christ?

If he suffered, how are we to presume that we will live a life free of suffering? And if we are healed through his suffering, shall we not bring healing to others through our own suffering?

I’m not saying that we can bring the supernatural, all-consuming healing that only our Savior can bring. But I believe that through our scars we bleed blood-red compassion that brings others to know the healing that is found in Christ.

I’ve found that those who adhere to the false prosperity gospel tend to be most impoverished of compassion, judging and condemning those who endure any amount of suffering.

But I’ve also found that those of us who bear scars love on deeper levels than those who have not endured the fires of affliction.

We’re each granted our own share of battles that when we emerge victorious we might also battle on behalf of others. Financial lack frees us to empathize with those in poverty. Barrenness enables us to understand loss. Physical pain helps us to relate to those enduring far worse.

Given the choice, the selfish part of me would choose a more comfortable path. But I know there are greater outcomes when I endure the furnace of affliction with grace, allowing God to birth in me a deeper compassion through the fire.

 

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