I had a strange dream last night. I will not go into all the details. I was in a restaurant. The waiter serving me was very odd in appearance, to say the least. He served me very competently and politely. Before he ended his shift, he went over to a waitress who by every observable sign was suffering from mental or emotional illness, but managing. This unusual couple gave one another an affectionate kiss. That was the end of the dream…apart from this. All of a sudden I felt incredibly pleased for both of them. I felt they had found a safe place and a refuge in one another. Seeing that, made me feel as though I had eaten a full meal. I felt satisfied for them and by them.
I think we all have a hunger for communion with another or with others plural. Have you ever considered Jesus had such a hunger? He had a hunger for communion with His Father, of course. It also seems He loved communion with other human beings. In John 4 his disciples have been off looking for food They come back and are surprised to find Jesus, a Jewish man, talking with a Samaritan woman. He says to them that He has just had a good meal, has eaten food of a different type. That food was communion with a rejected woman who was being sought by Jesus’ Heavenly Father and hers. He offered her the answer to her need. He told her that He could give her, Living Water that would satisfy her thirst. He told her that far from being rejected, her Heavenly Father was actually looking for people like her, that her worship was eagerly sought. But it also seems that something about that encounter in obedience to the Father’s will satisfied Jesus too. There are other examples of this in Scripture. Do you remember the story of how Mary poured a pint of pure nard over Jesus in the middle of a party to celebrate Lazarus being raised from the dead? She is criticised by the disciples, but Jesus defends her in these words: “She has done a beautiful thing for me. She did what she could. She has anointed me beforehand in preparation for my burial.” No one else in the gathering seemed to understand the cross was just round the corner, except Mary. Have you realised that in the midst of the sweat, the blood the agony of the cross, the fragrance of that pure nard would still have been there? It would have said to Jesus, “Someone understood. Mary got what I was thinking about that night, she understood. She “got” me when no one else did!”
As I write I am thinking of the words somebody said to me in a pastoral setting once. They were getting help from a counsellor which they were valuing. This person said of her counsellor, “She gets me without me having to explain everything.” That means a lot. It is something that lies at the heart of true communion, a mutual “getting” of one another.
The hunger for communion was there in Jesus and it is there in us. Henri Nouwen says that how we cope with that hunger is a really important thing. I guess that can drive us into wrong places and into arms that are not safe. One of my favourite films is “Silence of the Lambs.” The acting is quite simply brilliant, with Anthony Hopkins playing an imprisoned psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter. Despite his horrific crimes, his understanding of people is incredible. He is approached in the film by Agent Clarisse Starling, (brilliantly acted by Jodie Foster) who is in the early stages of her career with the FBI, who asks for his help to catch a serial killer. What I find fascinating is that Clarisse is completely repelled by Hannibal and yet is strongly attracted because… he “gets” her, he understands her.That need to be understood, for someone to “get” me, is so deep that it can drive us into what we know are the wrong arms in the wrong places.
Do you feel the need for closeness to someone who “gets” you? Will you remember this day that Jesus who understood the woman in John 4 is alive. He is alive to be eternally who He has always been. Yesterday, today, forever, He is the same. That means that today by His Spirit He can draw near as the Wonderful Counsellor who actually “gets” you. This was the wonderful discovery of that woman in John 4. Jesus seems to know everything about her, yet despite there being dark bits to her story, His eyes were looking at her with merciful kind love.
He already knows it all. He wont be shocked if you tell Him things truthfully. In fact He will commend that and warm to it. It is safe for the whole story to come out in the presence of Jesus. I remember a pastoral situation where someone needed to recall something that had happened but it was so horrific they could not allow themselves to remember. All of a sudden, the presence of Jesus came into the room. I knew it and so did they. I simply said, “Jesus is here, and He is kind and gentle. In His presence, it is safe to remember.” In less than a second she said, “I remember.” She went on to slowly tell what she had not been able to face up to or tell before. Jesus gave her a significant level of freedom that very night.
Today, through this blog, I say the same sort of thing that I said all these years ago to that lady to you, whoever you are: “Jesus is with you. He knows you. He “gets” you more than you maybe “get” yourself. In His presence it is safe to remember what you need to remember in order to be free. It is safe to speak. He will listen to you, look at you and speak with you (note that; “with” not “at”) with kind and gentle love acknowledging the real truth of the real story and helping you do the same. In fact he sees it more truly than you and can set you free from misbeliefs your story or your life have formed in you, that are holding you captive and stopping you from truly living Life.”
Jesus “gets” you. I hope you “get” Him. If you do, you will know you can seek refuge in his arms. Some of you may fly into his arms this moment in instant trust. Some may move slowly, fearfully and nervously towards Him, because our capacity to trust or to believe we will not be rejected is paper thin, all but destroyed. The important thing is however fast or slow, your hunger for communion makes you move in the right direction. Jesus “gets” you. Move towards Him today. That will show Him you really are beginning to “get” Him too.
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Times more frequently now that I sense that I am lost.That I have no memory of relating to and being understood or having that understanding.
I have known my love, saving grace, fellowship of the Holy Spirit. I seek to restore to engage but I have to wait until that memory ,feeling , know ing is restored
It is sadness at this loss at the emptiness. detachment .i do no longer fear as I did, for this is becoming familiar but more like a friend leaving rather than I have opened or closed the door.
I wait for return and I welcome back, what relief I find.
I still hear Him Knocking calling my name.
I read all the I s in this statement .I smile as I read back .
To the God who returns who is coming back.To this day For this very time,praise His name.