Thursday, September 23, 2010

Questions, Questions, Questions!

I'm a naturally inquisitive person. I was the annoying little kid who always asked, "Why?" or "What's that for?" It wasn't out of disrespect. Well, sometimes it might have been to put off doing something I had been asked to do ("It's time for bed, Diana." "Momma, why are there hungry kids in the world?") ... but usually there was a genuine desire to know.

Some of the things I've pondered over the years:
* Why do some people's feet stink soooooo much more than others?
* Why do people seriously like the taste of coconut? Wouldn't eating dried grass from the back yard be cheaper?
* How much longer? Are we there yet?
* What purpose do colors serve ... other than just being pretty?
* Why do little boys and little girls play with dolls differently? Boys smash the dolls together and have them fight. Girls have their dolls shop and accessorize.
* What in the world was the first person thinking who ate a mushroom? "Uhm, there's a fungal thingie growing over there in the shade and moss. I think I'll eat it."
* How come the Tin Man was able to walk and talk if he didn't have a heart? And come on! The Scarecrow didn't have a brain, so why was he the smartest out of the trio of Oz travelers?
* Why did we seriously have to take algebra if we never use it?
* What is it about looking at the sun that makes me always sneeze?
* How come my body literally freezes up and I can't move if I'm in a high place? Other than my hyperventilation and sweating palms, there seems to be no sign of life.
* Why do we have an appendix if we can live so easily without one?
* What is it in me that always convinces me I need to touch something to see if it's really sharp? Like my eyes alone can't tell me! But yeah, I wind up touching it, cutting myself, and then promising I'll never do it again ... until the next sharp item comes along.
* Why, why, why am I so freaked out about mice?! Yes, that still continues ...

Lots of questions over the years. And some things I've found answers to ... others I just continue to wonder. I'm no Albert Einstein. Most other people probably could care less to find any of the answers to the different questions that have baffled me. There's one, though, that I really, really, REALLY want to have an answer to ... and that is "How did Jesus look as He was living His life?"

Jesus hung out with all kinds of people. He loved little children. He loved big, burly fishermen who didn't know when to quit talking. He loved women who were caught in adultery. He loved tax collectors. He loved weird guys who ate locusts, wore camel skin clothes, and preached. He loved sick people who no one else had time for. He loved thieves and murderers. He loved the stupid ... the smart ... the old ... the young ... the rich ... the poor. He loved 'em all. And most responded to that. There was something about Him that drew people to Him. I don't think He hung out in a church all day, holding His Bible, and yelling at people about burning in hell. He wasn't the type that looked down His nose at people who were different or who were judged by the religious leaders. In fact, HE was the one that was judged by others. Jesus was radically different. He loved people ... not because of who they were, or what they did, or what they didn't do. He just loved people.

When I think of applying that in my own life, I'm sad to say that I have a hard time coming up with a fool-proof way to do that. Unfortunately, it's because I get in my own way. I have a hard time separating what someone does from who he is. I tend to think that people different from me are ... well, different. And different is usually not a good thing. But I want to love people like Jesus did. I want to look past the outward appearance, look past the sin, look past the hurts, to the person inside. To Him, everyone was of worth. Everyone was worth the ultimate sacrifice. Everyone was also greatly different from Him ... but He didn't condemn. He was welcoming, accepting, and eagerly seeking relationships with people whom He knew needed Him.

I have to ask these hard questions: How do I look as I'm living my life? Do I in any way at all resemble Jesus? Or am I all me? I ask these questions ... and sadly, I know the answers. The most incredible thing, though, is that Jesus knows the answers as well and is content to continue working with me, teaching me, stretching me, growing me so that I can learn to love as He did, accept as He did, and be as inviting and warm as He was. I told my husband this week that I wanted people to be able to see Jesus in me ... and my very wise husband responded that we need to ask God to help us get out of the way so that people can see Jesus in spite of ourselves. (Isn't he a smart man?!?) Ah! An answer to one of my hard questions!!

Questions, questions, questions. Just another part of the learning process in Finding Me in Him ...

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