When we think of Jesus, we often tend to think of His devine attributes and not his human ones. The garden of gethsemene is one place where we see Jesus humanness. He took three of his best friends with him and then went off alone to confront His own humanness in the face of His divine mission.
1. OVERWHEMLED. "...if there be any way, let this cup pass from me..." Jesus was overwhelmed by what He knew was coming, and He, very humanly, wanted to avoid it if possible. How many times have you felt absolutely overwhelmed by life or by a task you must complete? Jesus understands because He too, has felt that way. Fortunately for us, He was willing to do God's will in spite of His own human feelings.
2. LONELINESS. Another human emotion Jesus felt in the garden was loneliness. He knew He had to walk this path alone; no one else could do it for Him; no one else could do it with Him. It was for Him alone to face, and He must have felt a loneliness more intense than anything we have felt. Jesus understands our loneliness and our need for a "Jesus with skin on" when we go through hard times. He kept His friends close, but in the end, He had to do this alone.
3. ABANDONMENT. Jesus asked His friends to sit in vigil and pray with Him and for Him as He faced His biggest earthly challenge. All He asked for was prayer. But His friends, twice, fell asleep at the post. Have you ever told someone you would pray for them and then forgotten in life's busyness or fallen asleep on the job? Jesus understands our feelings of abandonment and the anguish of when friends don't come through: He experienced it.
There are many more examples of times when Jesus felt his humanness and faced these three emotions, but the intensity of the time in the garden and the knowledge of what was to come bring it home in a way we can understand. Jesus didn't have a sin nature, but He sure did have a human body. Unless we understand His humanness, we won't really be able to understand how he has suffered everything we have and survived to thrive.
Yes, Jesus was devine, but, thank God, He was also very much human, and He knows my distresses and fears. When I turn to Him, I don't turn to someone who has no clue, I turn to the one who has the only clue: Jesus.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
As I care for my grandchildren, I am reminded of this poem I wrote. Each time I stroke a sleepy head or say 'I love you', I am embedding memories into the child that he or she will hold on to after I'm gone. Grandparents have a special role to play. They often give a child a sense of being loved unconditionally, an important component to any child's ego. We do this by spending time with them, loving them, and praying for them.
The Holy Spirit can also bring that gentle touch, that sense of peace, to the Christian soul. How often have I snuggled up with my God and felt this comfort that only He can give?
As we give away loving touches to others, we give them more than that; we give them a physical memory that can bring comfort in later years. Even when it is not remembered in the mind, the comfort brought can linger in the psyche and pop up in times of need. Passing on loving touches and words should become our passion, as our touch is the only touch from Jesus that many will ever feel.
A Gentle Touch
Remembering Mother and her gentle touch.
Soft fingers said, "I love you so much."
A touch that held me in her arm's embrace,
Her touch bringing smiles of joy to my face.
At night as she lay me down in my bed,
Fingers stroking the hair from my head.
Gentle but strong, on her touch I leaned,
Those fingers that sewed and cooked and cleaned.
She's gone now and each remembered touch
Oh, is missed, so incredibly much.
But oft' as I lie in my dark, mourning bed,
I still feel soft fingers stroking my head.
Her gentle touch stays, tho' she's now gone on,
Giving me peace as I face each dawn.
And as oft' as my hands gently caress another
I'll always remember, I learned it from Mother.
Angela Masters Young c 2009