Posted by: Diane | January 30, 2013

Different Eyes. Different Vision.

I’ve been slowly making my way through the Gospels this year and landed on Mark 5 this morning – the healing of a demon-possessed man. Here was a man who lived in the tombs. No person and no chains could subdue him. He constantly cut himself with stones and cried out day and night.  A violent, hurting, seemingly hopeless life.

Yet, Jesus didn’t write him off as unsalvageable and He didn’t retreat in fear. Instead, Jesus moved towards this man and healed him physically, emotionally and spiritually. I was trying to imagine the scene – what a beautiful picture of compassion and power. This troubled man was transformed from a hopeless outcast to a man with a mission to speak of the Lord’s love and mercy. (Mark 5.19)

The Bible is filled with these incredible stories. Jesus made needy people, the hub of His ministry. The prisoners, the blind, the oppressed, the sick and the poor were not incidental to His ministry; they were those on whom He focused. He mingled with and lovingly ministered to blatantly unrighteous and desperately sick people.

Me? I would have run the other way. Well, perhaps I would have stuck around and watched Jesus but honestly, I would have looked at this man’s outward appearance and deemed him as hopeless. I find it difficult to stay in troubled peoples’ lives for a long time.  I feel helpless and exhausted and eventually, my natural tendency is to pull away.

This passage reminds me that we can only see divine potential in someone with chronic problems through eyes of faith – I need more “big picture” perspective for where God can take people, rather than merely seeing where they are now. My view of a person is often not His vision for them.

It takes me back to days when I have been in turmoil. There have been many times that I have “laid low in the dust.” (Psalm 119.25)…times when I have been full of sorrow and felt powerless to rise above my grief….times I have been in deep trouble. It doesn’t take long to “get in touch” with my own emotional neediness and when I do, I humbly realize that those who seem to be broken beyond repair are not so different from the way I was…and still am. We are all broken. We all fear, We all hurt. We all struggle.

The struggles of mankind are common. (1 Corinthians 10.13)

Different eyes. Different vision.


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