The journey to this work has come from the devotions I’ve read this week, as well as the book of Acts chapter 2 – 4 as I travel through this again, but slower and seeing what images come to mind, and online church. Last week online church was about using what’s in your hand. My journey this week has been a juxtaposition of what I haven’t let go of and the healing God can do. This is where the struggle gets real. This is a draft sketch of a painting/s that have been a long time coming, but only just starting to take shape.
From my reading of the story of the lame beggar in Acts 3, and his encounter with Peter and John, here is this person, lame since birth, now over 40 still begging for what he needed. He had and knew no other way. Then in walks these two apostle dudes filled with the Holy Spirit. They see him and Peter says, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
Instantly he is healed. As soon as he is healed he doesn’t just get up and walk, he leaps for joy.
Everyday this man would be carried in to sit at the gates where people would walk past him as he begged for what hope he could get from the generosity of those passing strangers. This day he would receive something he maybe never thought possible. He may have heard of other miracles happening in the region, but not dreamed it possible for himself.
Each day don’t we do the same? We pray, or lament, even beg God for the things we think we need, some of us doing this for years, even decades. Our focus is often on what we have missed out on, lost, or been broken by. Sometimes the waiting wares us down to the point we just get through each day with the lot we are given. And then each day becomes a rinse and repeat of the same. The familiar is often easier and less scary than the unknown of living a healed life, a life focused on God being our first not just the holder of our menu, our plans.
Let’s face it, the unknown is easy to lament about. It’s mostly ok, only some cyclic repeat that knocks us about from time to time each week, month, year. Some times are worse than others, but we’re still here. “I’ll get through this one like I did yhe last one”. This used to sound doable in my own thinking too, maybe depression is my lot. Sometimes I have it, most of the time I’m ok and kicking goals. I always get “over it, or myself” This year, 2020, I am renaming the year that took away all my strategies for navigationg my junk, and revealled they were just that, strategies of distraction. Yes we need some of these in our life, because being on all the time, dealing with our stuff all. the. time. isn’t sustainable. Or even healthy.
I do know that 2020 has put me in a place I never dreamed I’d be in. It’s hard, I really don’t like being where I am, but I trust my God with my life and the healing he is revealing possible. It’s scary as h. e. double hockeysticks. The attackes of the enemy are consistent and I can’t see the full picture, but I know my God who walks this with me, sometimes carrying, ok usually carrying me, does. The enemy’s lies are the same, and never from a new playbook. They continue on repeat too in areas not healed. Relentless.
But so it God. God is faithful. He is the rock I stand on when nothing else is left. But this is also the starting point for the next step. It’s why the attacks are worse this year than ever before. There is revival happening and it starts within.
This is where this image is a depiction of trying to hold onto all our stuff, like water, juxtaposed to the living water that can transform us completely. Not just providing times of hope, but fullness and freedom from all the brokenness. I want this. I don’t want to do another circle around the sun being ok and then not and then ok again. I don’t want the times of revisiting seasons of brokenness, grief, and loss to be ones of unknown quantities of my capacity to navigate through these. I want to do them with healed and healthy perspectives. I am worn down trying to do it differently, to do it my way, 2020 has revealed there needs to be a better way. Just like the living water of the Holy Spirit flowing in us and out into others around us, so too does the flow of all the things we try to hold onto, or we believe we cannot be healed from. These too permeate the rest of our stuff. Even the good. If you’ve ever had a leak in your house, or spilled a drink you know liquid can get anywhere.
What has 2020 revealled to you about God and you? What have you been challanged by that sees the possibility of healthy change? A healthier you? A healed you?