Advent, Wk 4, Day 2 – Jesus Became One of Us
Norman had always been shy, and rather backward in social situations. He had a big heart, but didn’t always know how to show it to the best advantage. Yet, as the cancer increasingly took over more and more of his body, he began to change in ways that amazed me.
I began to see him reach out to others facing cancer, as he was. We’d be in a doctor’s office awaiting another blood test, or another consult with the physician, and he’d whisper, “I’m going over there a minute”. He’d have noticed someone nearby in distress, and would amble over to them followed by an outstretched hand or an embrace. I found out later he was telling them about the hope he’d found in Jesus, offering to pray with them.
In those moments I was honored to play a part, I noted his prayers were simple, but came from first hand experience, filled with compassion and hope. About 6 months before his death, he shared with me that he was more at peace than he had ever been.
Norman became a beacon of light in a dark place. Those he encountered could tell, at first by the recent lengthy scars, and later the shortness of breath, and eventually the constant companion of an O2 mask and tank that he was one of them. In my observations, I never heard a sharp reply or a rebuff. He bore their scars. He’d earned the right to be heard.
God came to dwell among men through a teen aged girl and her fiance. He heralded his coming to lonely shepherds on a hillside, and then to foreigners (wise men from the East). His first bed wasn’t filled with satin, but a piece of cloth and straw. No dignitaries flocked to greet him, instead his family had to flee for the safety of his very life.
As Jesus grew, he wasn’t interested in gaining popularity, increasing followers, or wracking up points among the religious elite. In fact, after Jesus resurrected from the dead, and ascended to heaven, one of his followers wrote –
I Corinthians 1:26-29
26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
Jesus came for people like us. People who’ve been humbled by life’s circumstances.
This is one of the gifts of Christmas. God chose not only to dwell with us, but to become one of us, (yet remaining fully God). Because he did so, those who are exhausted by life can find rest from someone who knows.
In the middle of your pain, seek Him who offers rest. He understands.
With much love,