Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thankful for Someone Close Beside Me

In only ten days, Christmas will be here. In the midst of all the hustle-bustle busy-ness of preparation for this holy day, we might tend to lose sight, practically speaking, of the significance of the birth of Jesus. 

image found here
As I wrote in the previous post, by coming with the vulnerability of a baby, God invited us to come close to Him. It is also important to note that He actively came near to us. Jesus came to live among His creation. He came to walk alongside broken humanity. He came to touch those who hurt, to heal those who are sick, and to set at liberty those who were bound. He came to celebrate with the newlyweds and to cry with the bereaved. Jesus was "God with skin on" to the people of His day.

Even though Jesus is no longer with us in the flesh, He is still with us as His Holy Spirit works through His children. As I thought about this, I remembered a piece that I wrote in one of my newsletters back in May 2012, in a section I called "Things I Have Learned From My Little Girl". Please allow me to share it with you here. 


 I Want Someone Close Beside Me

Rachel, my social butterfly,
with several friends shortly before leaving Bali.
That is a familiar cry from my little social butterfly.  I guess some kids actually enjoy spending time alone…for a while…, but not Rachel.  She needs to learn to do it, so I insist on some quiet time on a regular basis where she can learn to play on her own and entertain herself, but this virtually always meets with resistance. “I want someone close beside me!”  I remind her that Jesus is always with her.  “But I want someone I can SEE!”  Rachel knows Jesus is always with her, but as a human being, sometimes she just wants someone she can see and touch. 

image found here
That is a common human condition. Yes, God is with us always.  His Holy Spirit can speak to us in our hearts in ways that no human being can speak.  But I believe he also understands that there are times when we need “God with skin on”.  That is why we...the church…the body of Christ is here.  God wants us to reach out to those who are hurting – to those who need to know that someone is close beside them.  God is always there, and He is perfectly capable of touching hurting hearts all on His own, without us.  But often, He chooses to offer comfort through the hands of His children reaching out, through the eyes of His children that can cry with those who hurt, and through the feet of His children who will go out of their way to offer practical help.

I wonder, who around you needs someone to be close beside them?  Will you be “God with skin on” to someone today?

**Originally shared in newsletter dated May 2012.

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