Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Lazarus Experiment - Day 6

So much of what we do is just a lot of flim-flam.
You drive like a maniac until your mother is in the car, then it's speed-limit city.
You talk like a sailor at work (sorry, sailors), using swear words with the skill and agility of a master artist, but tidy up your mouth before you step into your living room.
You have wonderful things to say about that pastor when you're at church, but you rehearse a whole repertoire of slams and criticisms in the car as you pull out of the church parking lot.
You go to a party, pick at the food like you were a bird, then hit McD's on the way home for a Double Quarter Pounder Meal - Going Large, of course.
You flirt with that guy at the office and entertain a little fantasy-world in your head, but you never, ever tell anyone else how close you are to falling off the marital edge.
A flim-flam life. It's hard to know who you really are.
Along with all the grave-clothes that Lazarus lost that day, I imagine he also lost any reason whatsoever to play games. And we're not talking tennis or Uno or Monopoly or Super Mario Bros.
Just think hard on this: You're sick. You're dead. You're naked, and they wrap you up. You're somewhere (???!) for four days. And then Jesus calls your name and tells you to reverse course and come back.
You're alive again, and come stumbling out. And Jesus tells them to unwrap you. "Take the grave clothes off and let him go." Right there, in front of the crowd that has gathered. Unwrapped and naked. Vulnerable. I picture Jesus holding Lazarus' hand.
Do you think it mattered to Lazarus? Do you think he cared a whit that he was naked? I don't think so. He was alive. He had nothing to lose. He had no reason to play hide-and-seek anymore. Exposure, freedom, life, Jesus. I imagine it all came rushing in and stuck in his heart and his throat.
And later - maybe that night, or the next day - as he sat quietly (Martha - "Just take a seat right here on the porch, Lazzie; I'll get you anything you need; you just rest. Do you need anything? Here's some lemonade and cookies. I can get more.") As he sat quietly, sipping lemonade and munching oatmeal raisin cookies, Lazarus determined that he would never hide behind grave-clothes again.
I wonder if he thought about how many hours he had wasted pretending to be someone he wasn't? I wonder if he felt released from all the various parts he had played in his life-performance? I wonder if he decided that there would be no more drama, no more pretense, no more fake living, no more hiding and bargaining and self-protection. Why take up the time? Why go through all the hassle? Why spend all the energy to be someone you're not?
Jesus had given him a second chance. There was no reason to play games anymore.
Want to live like Laz? Drop the games. No more flim-flam. Strip off the grave-clothes. You can be vulnerable. Jesus will be holding your hand.
Suggested Scripture For Today: Psalm 103
Suggested Ideas:
1. Tell your closest friend or your spouse a secret you've never told anyone else.
2. Try something you know you're not good at, but something you've always wanted to do.
3. Clean out a closet that's been gathering junk. Pretend it's your life.
4. Confess a sin to God that you've never been honest about before.

My Day 6 response:

Day 6 - I tried to let go. I had something on my heart that was dragging me down and I tried to tell that person and be honest and fair and I couldn't. Telling my bestie like Ron suggested wouldn't have helped because she already knows (she's actually related to this person). I just couldn't come clean to the person because they are oblivious. They turn everything around, no matter how tragic and it becomes their tragedy. No matter when has happened. what's going on with them is always worse (no matter how small). But I realized that size is irrelevant. Pain is pain, ache is ache. Who is to say my heartache is more fierce than hers? The pain she felt was sincere and, to her, tragic.
So, instead of being "barely there" when she called yesterday, I tried to be more attentive, understand her hurt and help her through it. It wouldn't have done any good to harp on why I have been upset for3 years. the only good that would have served would have been to unload my burden, which I recognize I need to do to move forward in my relationship with her but yesterday wasn't the day. I let it go. Right after I hung up with her bestie invited me to a friends for a game night and was happy to go. (Imagine me being spontaneous two days in a row?!!) Imagine my surprise when they gave me an early birthday party!
I feel like God had a big hand in all that and Laz would have approved. Just let it go and move on. I forgave her in my heart and that's all there is to that at this point.

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