A torn net
Matthew 10: 37-42 (NRSVA)
37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
40 ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’
It’s painful. It hurts. And it’s extremely disruptive.
I recently had friends deciding to go their separate ways.
It’s messy. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Quarrels about finances, property, custody of the children — it just never ends. And if I’m tired of being a soundboard, I can but imagine how emotionally draining it must be for them.
As I was contemplating the source of their issue I was reminded of a childhood memory.
Growing up, our home was situated next to a river providing my childhood with lots of adventure. We would often catch, tadpoles, crabs, frogs and insects as we traversed up and down the banks.
Once, we built a small reservoir with rocks and mud for our living treasures. They seemed content and so we left them, continuing our search for more critters. Upon our return, hours later, I was devastated to find ‘paradise’ empty.
“Why would anybody leave?”
They had escaped through a gap between two rocks I overlooked. (Good thing I’m not a civil engineer!)
I know it’s a LOT more complicated than this: but isn’t it ironic how small cracks in seemingly strong structures or marriages end up ruining everything?
That something so tiny, can empty you, rid you of all your joy?
For my friends, it was a lack of good communication. Identifying this earlier might have painted another picture.
So when Jesus invites people to “pick up their crosses”, and “to lose their lives” in pursuit of him it’s about closing that gap. The void we attempt to fill with selfish acts focused on our own needs when, according to the Gospel, the essence of life is to make others happy. To see THEM thrive and flourish.
What’s tearing you apart? What inner desires do you need to divorce in order to lay down your life, to allow Jesus to hold your life together?
Reaching over our concerns,
We are cemented into the love of Jesus.
Fix our lives as we lay them down,
Fix our eyes on you alone,
Let the light shine through our cracks,
As we illuminate the darkness in our pain.