Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Now when he was near the gate of the town there was a dead man being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her and said to her, 'Don't cry.' Then he went up and touched the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, 'Young man, I tell you: get up.' And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Jesus gave her life back to her. He gave the son’s life back to him, too. Jesus gives life.
The message is clear enough, and we lose it when we focus too heavily on the miracle, asking questions for which we have no answers: Was the man really dead? Did Jesus really raise him? If so, how?
And … can I believe in a miracle like this?
Focus all your energy there and you miss the message. You spend all your time fixating on the wondrous elements of the story that you fail to hear Jesus words, spoken directly to your heart and mind.
"Don’t cry," is the first word. There are many kinds of tears: tears of joy, tears that flow when we feel deeply from the core of who we are, and tears of sorrow, of course.
The mother’s tears are from obvious sorrow. She has lost her son, and more: She has lost her only means of support in this ancient society. She has no husband, no son and certainly her society had no social security, no insurance, no pension system, no food stamps or Medicaid to care for her.
Losing her son, she was destitute and had plenty to cry about. But don’t, Jesus tells her. I am here, and I am for you. What I am you soon shall see, for I am life and where I am life, well, lives, flows, flourishes and breathes joy and peace.
So, don’t cry, just know this.
And the second word: “Young man, I tell you: get up."
Just get up. The power to do so is in you. You deny it; you doubt it, but the love and grace I am awakens it in you. Know me. Hear me. And get up.
Get up and live. That is what I want for you … and from you. I want you to live letting loose of the fullness the Loving Creator planted in you to beautify and grace his world.
I do not want you to live a half-way, colorless existence, but a life filled with the energy and confidence of one who knows there are great gifts in your mind and soul to be enjoyed, celebrated and shared.
So get up and be what you are, what the Loving Mystery has made you, no more cutting and curbing your words and actions to fit the expectations and boxes in which you and others enclose youself.
This yields sadness and dissatisfaction and dishonors the One whose breath animates your body and soul.
So get up. Get up and live. Make no apologies for who you are. Throw your heart into the day and give yourself to every moment. Get up and live.
Pr. David L. Miller