We lose sight of our true worth so easily, and slip into self-condemnation or self-congratulation in unhealthy dosages when we measure ourselves, either in isolation from others or in comparison with others. This is an ongoing battle within us. Perhaps in our Malaysian context, we tend towards being hard on ourselves, and sometimes just "feeling good about ourselves" makes us feel guilty. Adding to that, people like to compare nowadays, whether we ourselves or those around us (at least we wonder what they are thinking).
So the silent hidden battles wage on in our consciousness. When we notice our actions and behaviors which seem to be trying to hard to increase our worth unhealthily, it’s time to pull the breaks and look at the "mirror" of God’s honest assessment. Even when our brokenness and sinfulness is glaring at our face, his holy healing presence of unconditional love puts us back piece by piece. But first, pull the breaks.
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"Look closely. The face of the one in need is the face of Christ."
This phrase struck me this morning. While guilt is not far away when we consider how little we have done, even for those of us who are doing what we can, the needs around us can be overwhelming. And now, a reminder that "the face of the one in need is the face of Christ"? Another guilt trip?
In all honesty, some guilt is not necessarily a bad thing, especially for those of us who are isolated in our air-conditioned cars and rooms from a lot of "stuff" on the streets and invisible from our eyes. It can be God’s way of giving us a kick if we are too preoccupied with our own problems.
But in the long run, the only way for us to have unlimited supply of "bags of grace" to offer to others, is that we come before God again and again, receiving from him "bags of grace" too. We do not give out of our own abundance. We give out of what Christ has given us. We can be instruments of healing as Christ heals us too, we can be agents of change as Christ is changing us, and so on. It’s not a sequence thing whether we are healed fully and then we go and help others, or we are perfectly changed first then we change our surroundings. It’s happening all at the same time.
Because like the ones who are in need, we too are in need. Different needs but still in need.
We all need Christ and all he has to offer to us.
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We prefer the signs and wonders of Jesus more than the wounds of Jesus. The "wonders" are more spectacular and dramatic. God is a God of "wonders" and we will have a decent amount of them in our life time both big and small. It’s easier to believe in God during those experiences. But, as Christ-followers, there is this dimension of the "wounds" of Jesus which need attention these days. It’s harder to believe when we are also wounded for whatever reason whether out of our own misstep in life or the actions of others. And yet, the "wounds" of Jesus is a great source of healing and restoration as much as the "wonders" of Jesus. It’s quieter. It involves more tears perhaps. But it’s deep.
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These harmonics vibrated from July 29 – July 31, 2008