Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Unimpressed!!!???

   To my mind, the transformation of the weeping woman (Luke 7) who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears is a clear demonstration of the power of divine love and forgiveness. Our King in His beauty is surely seen there. The change in the woman amazes and inspires me. But there is another person present who amazes me even more than that woman, though there’s certainly nothing inspiring about him. While this woman was completely taken with our Lord, Simon was completely unimpressed with Jesus. The woman went away wonderfully changed…Simon went on trudging and judging his way through life…unchanged and unimpressed. That’s amazing! It’s also very sad. Can you imagine the level of pride in Simon’s character (I don’t say heart, because I’m not sure he had one)? He actually looked down his nose at Jesus Christ and felt himself superior to Him. He said to himself, “If this man were even as much as a prophet, he would know what I know…that the woman touching him is a publicly known sinner.” She would certainly never have gotten away with coming into Simon’s presence, had Jesus not been there. And getting close enough to Simon for any human warmth to pass between them…? Impossible! The woman had eyes for seeing Jesus. Simon had eyes only for himself.

   I remember reading about a couple of fellows (maybe a lot like me) whose education and training hadn’t brought them into much contact with the arts. They found themselves visiting an art museum. They would pass from one work of genius and skill to another and comment something like this…”That’s not so hot.” or “I don’t see what’s so good about this one.” And on and on they went, until finally the curator spoke up and said to them, “You should probably know that the works of art here are not on trial. The visitors are.”

   I once was so thick…so self-absorbed…as to be basically unimpressed with the real Jesus Christ. LIkewise, I had little interest in those in whose hearts His likeness was visible and growing. I glibly thought myself just as good as them…wondered what all the fuss was about. I didn’t realize my surface judgments about others said much more about my pathetic heart than about those I targeted. Shame on me! Have you been there? Unimpressed with Jesus?! God forbid!

   Maybe you’d have time to share with us…maybe you need to unload about a time when you did the Simon thing…or maybe you’d rather share with us one of your favorite reasons for being so impressed with our Lord Christ. Listen to me now, YOU are one of the reasons I am so impressed with Him. I see Him in your hearts as you share with me, and I am mighty greatful for the vision.

 

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5 thoughts on “Unimpressed!!!???

  1. I think I grew up with a lack of appreciation for the emotional side of our Christian devotion. Knowingly or unknowingly, I elevated loving God with all your mind over loving Him with all your heart. When the “weeping women” walked in the room, I dismissed them as surface level Christians whose roots did not run deep…mature Christians were “unaffected,” which, ironically, is the type of Christianity that has characterized 99% of the shepherds I have known.

    As I grew up…and fully understood the value of loving God with the heart and the mind, my incompleteness became obvious. Opening that door…Jesus began to affect me from every angle…and the impression He leaves on me grows deeper and more meaningful every day, thank God.

    GROWING IS THE KEY, ISN’T IT, SON? I’M NOT INTENDING TO EXCUSE ANY OF US WHO TAUGHT YOU AND SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER INTRODUCING YOU TO THE CONCEPT OF “RELATIONSHIP” WITH JESUS. I HAVE BEEN WAY TOO THEORETICAL AND, DARE I SAY IT, CEREBRAL, IN MY OWN WAY WITH THE LORD AND IN MY APPROACH TO TEACHING OTHERS. “ARROGANCE” COMES TO MIND…BUT I REALLY WAS BLIND TO IT. (DOUG, I KNOW YOU WERE NOT INTENDING TO INDICT ME HERE…BUT I NEEDED TO SAY THIS ANYWAY.) TO THIS DAY…AND TO MY SHAME…I STILL OFTEN BEGIN MY BIBLE READING AND STUDY WITHOUT BOTHERING TO FIRST HAVE A WORD WITH HIM FOR HIS HELP AND GUIDANCE IN UNDERSTANDING. NOW IF THAT’S NOT ARROGANCE, WHAT IS? I AM TRYING TO DO BETTER.
    IT’S MY IMPRESSION, HOWEVER, THAT WHEN WE ARE SO YOUNG, SO MANY OF US, LOOKING BACK, WOULD ADMIT THAT WE WEREN’T MUCH IN TOUCH WITH OUR EMOTIONS, EVEN THOUGH WE COULD BE DRIVEN BY THEM QUITE OFTEN. I KNOW I REALLY BOUGHT INTO THE LIE THAT REAL MEN DIDN’T PUBLICLY EXPRESS THE MORE TENDER EMOTIONS OR TEARS. BUT AS WE GROW IN OUR CAPACITY FOR RELATIONSHIP, THAT PART OF US USUALLY GROWS TOO. I HAVE REGRETS FOR TIMES IN MY LIFE WHEN I WAS MORE CONCERNED WITH HOW I WOULD COME OFF LOOKING OR SOUNDING THAN I WAS WITH THE REAL NEEDS OF HUMAN BEINGS…OR WHEN I GLIBLY TOSSED OUT PIECES OF SCRIPTURE TO HURTING PEOPLE, INSTEAD OF PAYING A PRICE TO ENTER THEIR SUFFERING AND PUT MY SHOULDER TO THEIR BURDEN FOR A WHILE. I, TOO, HAVE SEEN, “SHEPHERDS” WHO DIDN’T SEEM TO HAVE A HEART FOR THE SHEEP OR FOR THE GREAT SHEPHERD OF THE SHEEP. GOD FORGIVE THEM…AND ME. LET’S DO THIS…LET’S KEEP LEARNING THE HEART OF THE REAL JESUS AND LET’S TRY TO BE IN THIS WORLD AS HE WAS IN HIS PERSONAL MINISTRY. I LOVE YOU, SON. I APPRECIATE THE SPIRIT FATHER GOD HAS GIVEN YOU. IT HAS BEEN THE GREAT PRIVILEGE OF MY LIFE TO BE YOUR DAD…AND NOW, THE GRANDDAD OF YOUR DAUGHTERS.

  2. I grew up in a family that made fun of folks that showed emotion. My mom seemed to cry a lot and be easily upset and my dad made it seem like that was weak and embarrassing. He would make fun of her and dismiss her emotions. I have never been comfortable showing any kind of emotion. Even when I’m happy … I might smile really big … that’s about it.

    I’m not only uncomfortable showing emotion, but I’m uncomfortable witnessing it as well. I have avoided many situations, to my regret, simply because I did not want to cry or be around someone that might cry.

    I can see me being in this scene with Jesus … acting much like Simon. I would never have been able to show Jesus the emotion this woman did … no matter how grateful I was. I would have seen her emotion as a lack of self-control. I would been surprised at her nerve … doing what she does for a living … and touching Jesus. In order to fight off the emotion and avoid embarrassment I would act unimpressed and probably put the woman down in order to make myself feel better about the situation.

    I pray that God is changing my heart. I want to be able to stand before Him and others without embarrassment of emotion. I want to be impressed by the honesty and sincerity of those around me who cannot hold their emotion in when it comes to Jesus.

    MY IMPRESSION OF YOU, PAIGE, FROM READING YOUR HEART HERE AND ELSEWHERE, IS THAT YOU MAY BE UNDERESTIMATING HOW YOU WOULD RESPOND TO MEETING THE REAL JESUS. (FORGIVE ME IF I AM BEING TOO PRESUMPTUOUS HERE.) YES, I COULD GRANT THAT THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A TIME IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO SHOW JESUS THE EMOTIONS YOU FELT. BUT I BELIEVE SEEING HIM NOW THROUGH THE EYES OF YOUR PRESENT FAITH WOULD GIVE YOU THE LONG-AWAITED CHANCE TO OPEN YOUR HEART FULLY TO HIM (WHATEVER THAT WOULD INVOLVE).
    WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT AND THE SAME. I DON’T THINK YOU HAVE TO BE A CHRISTIAN WHO IS ALWAYS ON THE VERGE OF HAPPY OR SAD TEARS. YOU HAVE SOMETHING BETTER THAN THAT. YOU ARE FOR REAL. YOU ARE FOR REAL IN YOUR LOVE AND DEVOTION TO JESUS AND TO OTHERS. YOU FEEL THE PAIN THAT OTHERS CLOSE TO YOU FEEL. YOU ARE HONEST IN LETTING OTHERS KNOW YOU LOVE GOD AND THAT YOU LOVE THEM. THIS COURSE IN LIFE THAT YOU ARE ON IS GOING TO KEEP BRINGING NEW EXPERIENCES TO YOU…AND NEW INSIGHTS INTO THE HEART OF FATHER GOD. THE DAY MAY YET COME WHEN, LIKE YOUR LORD, YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF WEEPING OVER SOME JERUSALEM OR OTHER WHO REFUSES THE WAY OF GOD TO THEIR ETERNAL HURT. I HAVE BEEN YOUNG…NOW I AM OLD. THE PAST NINE YEARS HAVE INTRODUCED ME TO THE VALLEY OF TEARS. AND IT’S OKAY. CRYING IS NOT ALWAYS A SIGN OF BEING IN TOUCH SPIRITUALLY. AND NOT CRYING IS NOT ALWAYS A SIGN OF BEING OUT OF TOUCH SPIRITUALLY. I BELIEVE THIS ABOUT YOU…YOU ARE DOING WELL…AND THAT BODES WELL. AND I PRAY GOD’S BEST FOR YOU.

  3. I know that I lived far too much of my life being unimpressed with Jesus. Obviously I was unimpressed with the way He loved me or the why of that love. And I didn’t understand that He loved those that had “messed up”. I had this concept of an angry God and that permeated the way I thought and the way I looked at others. Surely God was angry at them for messing up. Surely He was angry at me too. I didn’t understand mercy or grace or the depth of His love.

    When I hit the bottom, all I could do was beg for His mercy. I have seen just a small portion (or at least I can only comprehend a small portion) of that mercy and love and it is impressive!! I know there is a danger of my slipping back into the frame of mind where I lived so long…but I pray that I can remember how He delivered me when I didn’t deserve it. I pray I can remember the humbling experiences I went through and I pray I can remember how He loved me…and put people around me that loved like Him…so that I can live my life in awe of Him.

    I HATE THAT SOMETIMES WE PREACHERS…OR SOMETIMES CHURCHES…EFFECTIVELY REMOVE THE REAL JESUS FROM THE VIEW OF PEOPLE AND THEY DON’T KNOW WHERE TO FIND HIM. WHEN WE TRUST OUR MONEY, OUR WONDERFUL SERMONS, OR OUR MASSIVE PROGRAMS TO DO THE WORK GOD HAS GIVEN US, INSTEAD OF TRUSTING JESUS AND KEEPING HIM ALWAYS BEFORE US AND BEFORE OTHERS, WE ARE WAY OFF BASE. WE CAUSE PEOPLE TO BE UNIMPRESSED WITH THE “JESUS” WE ARE SUPPOSEDLY SERVING. SHAME ON US.
    THANK GOD FOR THE DAY YOU CRIED OUT FOR HIS MERCY AND FOUND IT FLOODING INTO YOUR SOUL AGAIN. I AM NOT AFRAID FOR YOU. I BELIEVE YOU HAVE SEEN SUCH WONDERFUL VISIONS OF JESUS THAT YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO GO BACK TO BEING UNIMPRESSED WITH HIM. YOU ARE LIKE PETER AND JOHN, WHO WHEN THREATENED AND TOLD TO STOP PREACHING AND TEACHING IN JESUS’ NAME, REPLIED, “WE CANNOT BUT SPEAK THE THINGS WHICH WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD.” SHERRY, HE LOVES YOU WITH AN UNDYING LOVE. AND I BELIEVE YOU LOVE HIM WITH THAT SAME KIND OF LOVE. GRACE IS YOURS. RELAX IN THAT TRUTH WHEN YOU NEED TO. SERVE IN HIS STRENGTH AND IN HIS NAME WHEN CALLED ON. ENJOY BEING A CHILD IN YOUR FATHER’S STRONG ARMS. HAVE A GREAT DAY!

  4. Unimpressed with Jesus? I never really thought about it that way,and yet I was away from our Lord and His church for about 12 years as a young adult.Mostly due to selfish desires of doing whatever I wanted.Thank God I came to my senses.When I became a parent ,I remembered that Ihad christian parents who took me to church and who raised me to know better.I’m so glad I repented and invited the Lord back into my life. My whole life is better because of it! We love it at Mid County,we have many christian friendsand want to become involved as much as possible. MY one heartache is that neither of our sons and their families attend church.they were both baptized when they were about 12 years old, cares of this life have monopolized a lot of their time and care. But that does’nt stop me from mailing them church bulletins,and verbalizing food for thought as often as I can. If you think of it some times when you pray, will you include them in your prayers?

    DEAR COUSIN KATHY AND MY SISTER IN JESUS, IT HAS BEEN A JOY TO RE-CONNECT WITH YOU AFTER ALL THESE YEARS. I AM SO ENCOURAGED BY YOUR JOURNEY OF FAITH…SO GLAD JESUS FOUND YOU AGAIN. HE’S GOOD ABOUT NOT GIVING UP ON US, ISN’T HE? WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT HIM? THE FAMILY OF GOD AT MID-COUNTY ARE SUCH A GREAT BUNCH…SO MANY TRUE-HEARTED SERVANTS OF GOD WHO LOVE JESUS AND HELP OTHERS. I PRAY THAT YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND WILL CONTINUE TO FIND MUCH STRENGTH AMONG THE SISTERS AND BROTHERS THERE AND THAT YOU WILL FIND MANY WAYS TO SERVE THE KINGDOM CAUSE. I PRAY HE WILL CONTINUE OPENING WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU TO KEEP GROWING IN THE GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS.
    I HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR YOUR SONS AND WILL DO SO AS I AM ABLE TO REMEMBER.
    ISN’T IT WONDERFUL TO BE SO TAKEN WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST? WE SHUDDER TO LOOK BACK AND THINK HOW ONCE IN OUR LIVES WE COULD TAKE HIM OR LEAVE HIM. NEVER AGAIN! TO US…NOW…TO LIVE IS CHRIST. HE IS OUR LIFE…OUR LOVE…OUR HOPE…OUR MOTIVE…OUR INSPIRATION…OUR ALL. GOD BLESS YOU AND ALL YOURS.

  5. Email Girl on said:

    I think I can identify with both the woman and Simon to some degree. When I was a kid I was very emotional. It embarrassed me because I was just unable to control it and it ended up being the source for some people to make fun of me. My mother explained me to others as “tender hearted”, and I hated those words. They cut me…I didn’t see anything good about being that way. Somewhere along the way I began to learn to control it. I started by just avoiding situations that made me emotional. Then I slowly was able to stop letting things “get to” me. I eventually grew into a Simon. I saw people who showed emotion as weak and unstable and people that saw it differently than me were just foolish. If I ever became emotional I hid it from others, but that happened so very rarely. The only emotions that seemed to still be intact were anger and frustration. I can imagine quite well what it was like to be sitting there like Simon and what it was like to be the woman so overcome with emotion.

    I can say today that I’m no longer highly emotional or sorely unemotional and judgmental. I’m not highly emotional out of necessity…I’ve had to learn to protect myself from those that judged me by giving them less to judge me for. I sometimes miss that part of me, I curse the fact that I can’t allow myself to “feel” the way God made me…the way He intended. I think the way my feelings are all mixed up effects the way I view the Lord. I think if I really let my guard down I would see His awesome love for me and just how much He cares about me. But knowing that in my heart would require me to “feel” His acceptance of me. Personally, that kind of scares me…makes my heart race just to think about it, actually. Unfortunately in all my protecting myself from the bad people in my life, I have also walled off the good ones…and worst of all God. Like I’ve told you before, I know it in my head that He loves me, because the Book tells me He does, but believing it in my heart is a whole other thing that I can’t seem to get a handle on. I will keep trying though because somewhere inside of me is that someone that believes with every fiber of her being that God thinks she is still worth it.

    I got a little off the topic…sorry. You made me think today and I saw some things that I haven’t seen in myself before…some things that explain where I am at today. Thank you for being a source of insight for me.

    DEAR E-MAIL GIRL, ISN’T IT SAD AND SHOCKING HOW SATAN WARPS THINGS? HE TOOK YOUR TENDER-HEARTEDNESS AND USED IT AGAINST YOU…MADE YOU HATE TO BE THOUGHT OF IN THAT WAY. YET IT IS THE TENDER-HEARTEDNESS OF OUR LORD THAT INSPIRES US WITH SUCH HOPE. I HOPE WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY DOESN’T “CUT” YOU IN ANY WAY. ONE OF THE THINGS I QUICKLY NOTICED ABOUT YOU WAS JUST THAT…YOUR TENDER-HEARTEDNESS. IN THIS WAY I SAW JESUS IN YOU. WHEN YOU FOUND OUT ABOUT TINA, YOU ENTERED INTO HER TRIALS AS FULLY AS YOU COULD FROM A DISTANCE. YOUR PRAYERS AND YOUR WORDS REGARDING HER, BLESSED HER LIFE AND BLESSED SOME OF HER FRIENDS WHO READ YOUR HEART ABOUT HER. YOUR TENDER-HEART TOWARD GOD LEADS YOU TO CARE SO ABOUT OTHERS. I HAVE OFTEN BEEN LIFTED UP BY WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT YOU HAVE SENT ME. AND WHEN I THINK HOW ALL OF THIS ARISES OUT OF THE PAINS AND THE DARKNESS WITH WHICH YOU HAVE HAD TO DEAL AND WITH WHICH YOU STILL DEAL, I KNOW THAT ONLY YOUR CONNECTION TO FATHER GOD COULD PRODUCE SUCH GOOD THINGS. AND I AM ONLY SEEING A SMALL BIT OF YOUR HEART. IMAGINE YOURSELF AS A TRUSTING CHILD ENFOLDED IN THE ARMS OF YOUR LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER. WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY IS NOT INTENDED TO HURT YOU, BUT TO HELP YOU SEE WHAT YOUR FATHER VERY MUCH WANTS YOU TO SEE AND TO BE ABLE TO ACCEPT AND ENJOY DOWN DEEP. IMAGINE YOUR FATHER LOOKING DOWN INTO YOUR EYES, AS HE HOLDS YOU, AND READING IN THEM YOUR INABILITY TO ACCEPT THAT YOU BELONG THERE…IN HIS LOVING ARMS…IN HIS DELIGHTED ESTEEM OF YOU. IMAGINE YOUR OWN HEART…AS YOU HOLD ONE OF YOUR OWN DEAR CHILDREN…IF YOU SAW IN THEM A HESITANCE TO ACCEPT FULLY YOUR LOVE OF THEM…IF THEY JUST WEREN’T ABLE TO BE COMFORTABLE IN YOUR PRESENCE…IF THEY COULDN’T RELAX AND RECEIVE YOUR AMAZING MOTHER LOVE OF THEM. DEAR E-MAIL GIRL, PLEASE…KNOW…IT IS FOR YOU JESUS DIED…IT IS FOR YOU THE EYES OF FATHER GOD SEARCH…IT IS FOR HOLDING YOU IN JOY, PEACE AND SAFETY THAT HIS ARMS ACHE. IT IS FOR YOU, I AM PRAYING. COME ALL THE WAY HOME, LITTLE LAMB.

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