Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Can Rocks Cry Out?

Have you ever thought about what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus? I think about it sometimes on a daily basis. I love to help people, thus my chosen profession...nursing. I love to see people do what even they don't think they can accomplish. I can convey encouragement and compassion simply by touching my patient in a caring and loving manner. I hold hands (sometimes feet), wipe tears, sweat (and other bodily fluids I won't mention here), I give hugs and rub backs....and that's just taking care of the doctors. Just kidding!! I find that it is a lot easier sometimes to "talk" to others through action as opposed to words. I also know that actions speak louder than words. But, I think that we also need to use words along with actions to deliver the full effect that is intended. 

The fact is that I love Jesus. I am a Christian. He has given me infinitely more gifts and blessings than I can ever deserve and continues to do so. He has held my hand and lifted me out of pits of despair. But when it comes time to speak aloud of these things and "witness" to others with my voice, I find myself hanging back. I let doubt creep in. I don't want people to judge me harshly, to think I'm a hypocrite (I AM, by the way), to reject me or make fun of me. But, what is more important? What people think or what Jesus thinks? I know that I focus too much on this world, but we were made for something more. I don't know who this quote originated with, but it sums it up..."We are not human beings having spiritual experiences, but spiritual beings having human experiences".  Think about it. What if our life here on earth is just a snapshot in our spiritual eternity? Sometimes I long for the things of this world to fill me up. Sometimes my filler is food, sometimes other people, sometimes attention or praise. The full feeling is always temporary. I heard a Christian speaker say that we "ache for Heaven". I wonder if that is why we long for "things" to comfort us...because we are aching for eternity. Is this what we were made for? To long for Heaven? For God? 

I love the song "Made to Worship" by Chris Tomlin. One part says "and even the rocks cry out, and even the Heavens shout, at the sound of His holy name". We were made to worship the one who created us.When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, His followers were crying out and praising Him in front of everyone! The Pharisees didn't like this and told Jesus to make them be quiet. This is when Jesus said "I tell you, He replied, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out". If we don't spread the Good News and tell of his wonderful love like we are called to do, the rocks will do it for us! I want to be bold. I want to show and tell others through my deeds and my words. I don't want the rocks to have to speak for me. They can be quiet this time...I will speak.  

Monday, September 19, 2011

Are You Living the Salt Life?

If you live near the coast, at least in my neck of the woods, you see this logo on a regular basis. I see it on the back windshield of a car sometimes daily. I am a salt lover, I will admit. I add salt to my food sometimes before I even taste it. I even put salt on my salad. When I was in college, a friend gave me one of those hamster "salt licks" for a birthday present. Yes, it was a gag gift, but I actually "used" it a couple of times. I finally got rid of it, because it just wasn't practical to break out a "salt lick wheel" when I had a craving. I'm pretty sure it made me look a little unstable.

As I sat in the elementary school pick up line yesterday, I started thinking how living the "Salt Life" could apply to living a Christian life or a more disciplined life. Have you ever looked up "salt" in the Bible? There are a lot of verses dealing with this word. Many times, especially recently, I have eliminated certain foods from my diet. Soda, chocolate, sugar...all of these things are great and I would not want to live forever without them, but they are not necessary for survival. Salt, however, is necessary for our bodies to function properly. When we don't have enough salt in our bodies, we become unbalanced and don't heal easily. It helps to transmit messages in the nervous system. Salt is also used as a preservative to keep food from spoiling. It was used before modern medicine to help heal wounds or to purify water. Salt when used in food serves to season it, to bring out the best in the taste of the food or to blend certain foods together. For all of these reasons, Jesus called His followers "the salt of the earth".

Guess what else salt does? It makes you THIRSTY. It makes you long for something. When you see someone who is "salty", do you long for what they have? To me, these people seem satisfied with their life. They possess true joy. They don't have to seek validation from the outside world. Other people in general are attracted to these people because they see something in them that they want to have as well. Did I just describe you? As Christians, that is what Jesus challenged us to do. We are supposed to preserve, freshen and sweeten the world with His word and to help heal His people with our deeds and actions. Most of the time I feel like Mrs. Dash...very flavorful, but not truly, genuinely salt. My goal is to surround myself with salty people so that they can season me and I can learn to season others. Jesus put us here to season the world with our presence, our words and our actions. As my thirst increases, I long to make others thirsty as well.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. ---Colossians 4:6