Some people remain in an esoteric world that has little take-away value. A few people I know have a gift of making the apparently complex understandable and livable. Jeremy being one of these, I called him.
"What is Jesus telling us with this passage in John 15? Abide? Remain? Would it not have been easier to say something like, ‘Stay connected to me’?” I asked.
“I don’t think Jesus meant for it to be so complex,” he said. “We try to spiritualize things. We try to add the details because we’ve grown accustomed to such a complex world. It’s not too complicated for us; it’s too simple.”
He then started talking about “what it looks like.” Sometimes I just need a picture.
“We’re each unique,” he said. “And because of that, it looks unique for each person. Everyone has a distinct abiding in Jesus. We just walk it out with Jesus. He says, ‘Come along, and we’ll work out the details on the way.’ If we have some image of ‘what it looks like,’ we’d miss the point – being with him and learning it from him.”
As he spoke, I looked over my shoulder. He started talking about an oak tree and time, and I couldn’t hear his point because I saw it. I saw the thing itself.
A mother held her infant girl to herself.
This little girl lives in her mother. She needs her mother’s help for the most mundane things, from eating to sleeping to dressing.
Her decisions ask, “How will Mommy feel about this? How will this affect her?”
She cries when her mother leaves. She clings and yearns to be near her, intrinsically grasping for one who represents life in her small world. She desires to grow up to be like her mother, and she can’t imagine a future without her.
Because she lives in her mother, her mother lives in her.
The mother remains in the little girl, even as she becomes a young lady and eventually a woman. The daughter will look and act like her mother. She’ll think like her over time, and she’ll speak like her. She’ll frequent the same locales, and take on similar relationships. She’ll become the kind of woman her mother is.
What happens between the moment when I saw the child and when she is a mother herself is the walk they’ll take together. They’ll take methodic steps and have meaningful conversations along the way. The uniqueness lies there. The details remain for the mother and daughter to work out over time, as they remain in each other.
Do you make walking with Jesus more complex than you need?
Is it a to-do list?
What should it look like for you?
Whom do you want living in you?
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