May 10th, 2007


Daily Bread - Luke 13:10-17

Daily Bread

Title: Mixed Reactions to a Healing
Luke 13:10-17
Key Verse 16

In this passage, Jesus heals a woman who has been crippled 18 years. You would think that everyone would be so happy for her! Wow, what a wonderful thing - she is free of the spirit that had bound her like this (v. 11)!!

Yet what did the religious leader say? He told Jesus that he should heal on another day besides the Sabbath. Is 'love' work that should be abstained from on the Sabbath? Jesus asked the synagogue ruler, "Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?" Well, if you show kindness to even your donkey on the Sabbath, why, oh why, would you not show kindness to this woman, a human, and a daughter of Abraham?

Jealous hearts cannot rejoice for others.
Those who uplift sacrifices over obedience do not have God's heart. (I Samuel 15:22)

We are not to follow God's instructions as though we were cooking. "Ok, let's see, I showed a little generosity today, then I didn't kill that guy I hate at work, and I did not steal the candy bar from my brother...." No, we are to seek the heart of the God who established these commandments. Do you know the great commandment?

It is the same as the Noh flower.
Do not seek to imitate the outer appearance, but seek to know the heart of that ideal and thus be transformed.

Let's not get stuck on rules or lists, but let's come to God with humble hearts that are willing to get to know Him more deeply! He offers us freedom, as he offered to this woman.

One Word: Rejoice in God's Heart

See his hands

Isaiah 49:13-16

"Shout for joy, O heavens;
rejoice, O earth;
burst into song, O mountains!
For the LORD comforts his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me."

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands"

God is good.


I sit here eating oreo cookies, drinking acidic tea, and listening to music. My paper for 670 is almost to a first draft stage, with 5 single-spaced pages. My database paper needs to be started. It's so hard to feel motivated about school work.

The un-understood

When I was young, I felt "un-understood." This is what I called it, anyway.

In response, I sought a way to make myself understood. I tried using art, writing, and language as a way. None of these connected to others in the way I had hoped, however.

In ninth grade, I worked with the school on a story of mine. Now, I had my mistakes, but my heart was sincere. I felt that this story was very important - it was based on another's life and not my own. And I wanted to protect the truth of that person's experience to the finest detail. Yet as I worked on it, I felt that those working with me did not have the same outlook on it. This crushed me. Looking back, I suppose it is because I sought a shared attitude, an understanding, but those working with me could not understand my naive flavor of sincerity.

The situation ended with an inquisition and a peace settlement.

The next year, I went to Croatia to seek out that wisdom and understanding that I still felt I was lacking. I hoped that through a new means of communication, Croatian, in a new part of the world, the Balkans, I would find something.

Yes, I found something. Loneliness, despondency, and frustration. I discovered that foreign languages only make it more difficult to express myself and that foreign places operate the same way as home. People around the world are, in fact, simply people. How could I expect my deepest heart to be understood when I could not even ask someone what books they liked?

This path led me nowhere. Where to turn next? Well, I could return to my roots: art.

I had always loved art. As a child, I drew sketches on everything. I would finish quizzes as fast as possible so I would have time to draw a scene on the back. My journal was not complete without sketches. I snuck in my dad's office to find Lord of the Rings books with pictures so I would have a guide to draw from when no one was looking.

And Japanese art. How lovely. I gave up my hopes once again. Could I finally make myself understood through art? I found that I could not.

Now I am a library science student. My job is to organize information, convey knowledge, and impart understanding.

I am learning how to arrange and how to display, just as a canvas has balance and angle.
I am learning how to help others know and understand, the very thing I have struggled with.

I was thinking on all this last week while standing out in the windy sunlight behind my building, near the creek. I thought about how much I have loved communication and arts over the years and how they have been my steps to seek to be understood. I wondered at the heart that tangled with these things and thought,

I think I have been given the heart to shape the image of the mind.

Information arrangement, art arrangement, word arrangement, idea arrangement - all like flower arrangement. An art of shifting, of reordering, of touching and beautifying. If it is so, may I learn this art, having it become clear before me and before others. Maybe I still will not be completely understood by others, but maybe they will come to see a facet, a shifting gleam of something... I do not draw to make money and I do not write to win a prize. I wish to express myself. I wish to express this Creation which has been made. My soul cries out with meaning and with song.

I am not a Christian because I long for heaven - I simply want to understand the God who understands me. I want to know the God who had plans to mold me and my heart before the beginning of time. I want to fall at his feet and sing in his presence. He gave me art. He gave us art.