Saturday, June 04, 2005

difficult

at a women's conference, a speaker said,
Jesus can handle difficult women.


then she moved on, never returning to the statement and never developing the thought. which was, to me, the most intriguing of the whole lot.

i've thought of it much over the years. as it soothes me. you see, i am a difficult woman. i've always been too outspoken, too honest, too loud, too rough around the edges, too impolite, too careless with my appearance, too barefoot, too whatever.

i used to care greatly that i be neither a stumbling block nor pariah.

i don't care so much anymore. i don't see my life as amounting to which groups i am "in" anymore.

i'd rather be lonely as a cloud and wander amongst the flowers, than be "in" if in means zero spiritual depth and intelligence. but there you go, i'm being difficult yet again.

i'd rather be silent as the grave, than politely chattering on mindlessly about nothing.

i'd rather speak of God, than anything else in the whole world, except maybe poetry.

but few and far between are those who delight in such topics. and they don't frequent my days, so i tend toward silence in crowds.

i find myself reading during bible studies, church, meetings, (they never have much to say, so why not get something from a book? you know it is bad when i can be reading a book AND interacting with the goings on of my bible study never missing a beat. sigh).

i find i don't care for church anymore. and it breaks my heart.

i have a friend who described one service at her Anglican Church where the priests bowed down on their knees before the cross. she detailed how she touched the feet of the crucifix and electricity passed between her and the image of Christ on the cross.

i no longer experience such things at church and i hate that more than anything.

not so much the experience of God (for He is with me always, and never am i wanting of His presence), but the communal nature of such exchanges in a corporate setting.

part of me knows i must commit to where i'm at and be a part of the church i drag my body to weekly. (we only go for sunday school. this is a great compromise from just dropping off our girl for her sunday school and reading in the parking lot. but am i getting any more out of it? no. not really.)

i do serve a bit in the church, once a month (i'm telling you this so you'll think better of me, i'm sure). but i'll say no more about that now. your approval is not my point.

see, i'm difficult.

Jesus can handle difficult women. Jesus can handle me. Jesus can handle you. hallelujah! we have hope, all!

so many times my mind goes to the samaritan woman at the well. approaching at an hour so as not to have to deal with the religious types. Jesus asks for a drink.
Sir, do you know what you ask?


of course He does.

He wants to draw her back into community.

i think of the leper who was shunned by all good "clean" community. and for good reason. no judgment there, they were just opting for ceremonial cleanliness. not something evil. however, they forgot about mercy.

so the leper walks up,
Jesus, heal me
and Jesus stretches out that holy hand and says,
Yes Beloved. I will not only heal you, I will restore you to community.

my heart cries out for this touch from the Saviour. my religous leprosy has kept me away from "good" fellowship for sometime now. it is high time i am healed.

how difficult that can be. but Jesus can handle it.

another difficult woman is the issue of blood lady. what a wreck she was, physically. she had spent everything trying to get well, and nothing. nada. zip. she wraps her unclean self so the "good" ceremonially clean community won't shun her, and she slips into the crowd. stretching out her hand, she feels the power shoot through her.

perhaps it was the same power my dear friend felt when she touched the crucifix. some would call that sacrilege but i don't box God in. He can do whatever He pleases.

someone touched Me.


the apostles, always difficult, say,
yeah. whatever, we're in a throng here Jesus. and you want to know who touched You?
i like the honesty of the Bible. showing me foolish men can be "in" with Jesus.

daughter, your faith has made you well.


He stretched out His hand (no doubt) and brought her back into community.

perhaps my difficulty then is not so much with the throngs about Jesus, as it is with my failing to reach out and touch His pierced feet.

perhaps the difficulty i face now is not the lack of community in my church, but my need of the great Mediator to come and restore me to community.

i will avoid the eyes of those who pry, until i see the Eyes that pierce my soul. and undoubtedly, He will reach out and restore me, once again, to community.

4 comments:

jon said...

your essay inspired me to write this. it is not offered as an answer. just know we (writers) do inspire each other.
thank you so much.


on the road (again) to emmaus
by jon

feel again the burn
the same
one
walked
with them,
the watched-over bunch,
padding together tighter
dust (we) in the "wind"
his spirit
driven dreams
vivid in-roads
mapped issues
vital
third heaven’s desire
belief
drawing
toward his cool-burn of eternity

siouxsiepoet said...

so lovely jon, thank you. inspiration is perhaps the greatest compliment.

suz

jimmmaaa said...

Siouxsie,

Great Post. I have been involved in a church for over 3 years and still find that community is difficult. I desire it, but it has been slow...sometimes I wonder, "Is it me?" and then sometimes I just think that God has his timing for me. I know some people but I don't have the friends I desire. I moved 5 years ago from the city I grew up in and had many good friends there. I am trying to patient and know that Jesus knows what I need. Thanks for your encouraging words and the way you highlighted how Jesus meets people where there are.

siouxsiepoet said...

hey jim, thanks for the kind words. i remember leaving a particularly meaningless home group once and the Lord said, even if no one says the right thing or prays the right prayer, i'm still sufficient.

and He has been. i persevered in that group and have a dear mentor/friend from it.

i remember that word often when i am discouraged and want to hang it up and forget about the church.

but the truth is, we can't.

hang in there brother,
suz