“I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice speaking to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goad.’ “- Acts 26: 13-14
As John Ortberg concludes Chapter 1 of Who is This Man?, he states that Paul said that Jesus appeared to him unbidden and unwanted. In fact, the author notes, Jesus often showed up where He wasn’t sought or even welcome. Pastor Ortberg then relates the poignant story of novelist Mary Carr, author of The Liars Club. Mary had been a lifelong agnostic. Her mother had married 7 times, set Mary’s toys on fire, and once attempted to stab her to death. Like Saul on the road to Damascus, Jesus was the last person Mary was expecting: “If you’d told me a year before . . . that I’d wind up whispering my sins in the confessional or on my knees saying the rosary, I would’ve laughed myself cockeyed.”
Jesus reaches out to the vulnerable and the fragile. Author Andrew Walls believes that vulnerability and fragility is at the heart of Christianity. It most certainly is descriptive of our spiritual and emotional state following our vocation loss. Is Jesus welcome in our situation or are we mesmerized by our dilemma? H. G. Wells, who didn’t even call himself a Christian, spoke of Jesus’ significance: “The historians test of an individual’s greatness is ‘What did he leave to grow?’ Did he start men to thinking along fresh lines with a vigor that persisted after him? By this test Jesus stands first.”
Today’s question: Is it time to think along fresh lines about our adversity? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The answer you somehow always knew” (got my posts out of order-this should’ve published before today’s post)