Thursday, March 27, 2014

AN INVITATION TO LIFE.1

"Everyone who believes in the Son will have life everlasting."
--Jesus

When I began dating my wife years ago, I learned about her mother's secret stash of sacred family videos.  Only the inner circle could even suggest they existed!  After mother's passing, the secret stash was finally revealed and I discovered something significant about the sacredness of family.  When I saw my wife as a little girl I was strangely squeamish, like I didn't belong there.  I couldn't, shouldn't, wouldn't watch them...

When I watch our own family videos a somewhat similar feeling comes over me, not that I don't belong there, I did, after all, help create this family and provide many of the experiences that have helped shape them, but a feeling of the paradox of time.  It mocks that those precious moments were so fleeting; that I didn't appreciate or savor them more. But it befriends in filtering the negative influences of impatience, impertinence and immaturity in those moments.

Time as taskmaster will soon be tamed.

I once had an experience in a college class that put time in eternal perspective.  The professor asked us to write down memories, both good and bad on 3x5 cards.  He explained that the reason we don't "forgive and forget" is because of the emotions attached to painful memories and that the healing of traumatic incidents just takes time.  He asked us to take out of our stack of bad memories a particularly difficult moment and sit quietly  before the Lord to let Him speak to us about it. The memory I selected occurred at around the age of ten. While playing a creepy game of some sort in an old house at twilight, an uncle jumped on top of me pinning me to the ground with a rubber hose squeezing my neck.  I was pretty sure I was going to die in that moment.  While recalling that memory I noted I had no real emotion attached to it.  (The professor later explained that the brain insulates itself from particularly traumatic memories.) 

As part of this exercise we were to take a favorite image of Jesus and focus on it while recalling the memory.  The image I used was the last scene in the "Matthew" video series where the actor playing Jesus turns, smiles and motions to follow him.  It is such a compelling vision of a joy-filled Savior.  However, while merging these two memories in my mind, the face of Jesus turned from confident caring to cruel mockery. It took my breath away and I wanted to stop.  But I let the
image from christianitymalasia.com
scene play out and soon discovered that the look on his face was the agony He experienced on the cross.  I realized that He was there in that moment; saw the evil I endured and let me know it was for that He died to redeem us.


It was life changing.

I believe the "judgment seat of Christ" will be a place of wonderful healing and reconciliation. Time, as servant of Death, will be swallowed up in LIFE!