Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mark: Teacher, do you care?

Mark 4:35-5:1
Jesus calms the storm, and then John Mark describes the situation of the demon-possessed man when Jesus meets him.

I think in this one story and starting of the next of two miracles, the question that pops out at me is, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"  The disciples are in a boat on Lake Galilee, there is a storm, and their little boat seems to be crashing.  In all the chaos, Jesus simply sleeps on a cushion.  And then, when they wake him, he gets up, stops the storm by just talking to it, and then asks the disciples why they were so afraid.  Where is their faith?

I know when my life is chaotic, I often forget that Jesus knows exactly what he's doing.  And, I don't get an immediate answer like these guys did.  In fact, I may have to wait until I'm in heaven for the answer.

Right now, this upcoming election frightens me because we will either have a dictator who will allow abortion to go on unchecked and take all our money, or we will have a man who treats women like property and isn't really pro-life either.  Does Jesus not care that America is still blaspheming God with their lifestyles and their choices?  In my own life, I am a grown, married woman who still lives in the house I grew up in and can't move closer to where I work and go to church.  Doesn't God know how much more I could do if he would allow me to move and also to get a job that matches the fact that I have a master's degree?  Why did my mother die when she was only 50 and leave behind me and my autistic brother who will never know independence and her aging mother who was still alive at the time, not to mention my widowed dad?  Their marriage was the best it had ever been at that point.

Jesus was not asleep on a cushion, I can tell you that.  We live in a fallen world because Adam and Eve sinned, but he also showed his love by dying on the cross for my sins.  The real question is why does he even allow me to live?

Then, we move on to the beginning of the story about the demoniac.  Some people don't have storms on the outside.  Their storm goes on inside.  Some people have mental illness.  Some people are on the autism spectrum and view the world in ways others could never imagine.  I always find it interesting that when we meet a demon-possessed person in the Bible, his description usually reminds me of an autistic, although I would definitely say that autism is not a demon possession.  Sometimes, it's not even really a bad thing.  I've lived with an autistic brother for 26 years and have had to keep him from hurting himself or running into harm many times.

But just the same, Jesus cares about that too.  He may not make my brother able to communicate with speech in this life or get him to where he can lives on his own, bathe himself, feed himself, and many more things.  But he can.  And he will.  We still wait for the complete consummation of Christ's kingdom.  Until then, how can we make life more bearable for people going through storms?

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