Read His Words Before Ours!
My life is empty.
More than empty, it’s destitute, devoid of all life.
I am a sham; nothing about my life has turned out the way I’d dreamed.
I’m abandoned; everyone has left me. I have no one.
I cut myself.
Perhaps to remind myself that I am actually still living.
Perhaps to turn my mind to something else besides the far greater wounds inside my soul.
I don’t know how this happened…how I got to this point. How I dream of death, yet am terrified of it. Somehow I’m still alive, but I hate my own existence. Was I destined for this? When did my life get so off track that I became susceptible to the demons inside that control my everything? When did everything become meaningless?
Yes, I screech like a wild animal.
Yes, disease ravages my body like an addiction.
Yes, I push everyone away.
I scare them.
People gawk at my shriveled skeleton, they tell their children to stay away.
My greatest agony?
No one sees me.
I’m just “that guy”.
“That guy” who lives with the dead at the cemetery on the outskirts of town here in the Gerasenes region.
“That guy”. We don’t speak of him. He is nameless. He is dead.
Despite all the things I hate about myself, about my wretched life, and all the things that hurt me, my heart breaks most over the fact that not one will look at me for more than the crazy person on the outside.
No one is that brave.
This is a true story. The man I’ve written about above, it’s his real biography, but I wonder, how many others fit his story? Unloved, unwelcome, unseen.
So much hurt, so much brokenness, so much heart ache.
And no one brave enough to really know, to really see.
But there’s another story, of another man, and his biography changes everything.
I am life, but I chose death.
I chained myself that I could free others.
I lived in a tomb, like my friend from the Gerasenes.
But I raised myself from the grave, that I might bring life.
I came to free him.
I saw my friend when he was naked, I saw him with bloody self-inflicted wounds, I saw him alone, I saw him destitute and afraid, I saw him hurting others, I saw him diseased,
I saw him.
And I freed him!
They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. Mark 5:1-4
I saw coming across the sea, his boat bobbing across the small waves. My demons shuddered, but we turned our fear into hatred and rage. I was utterly uncontrollable when that man stepped onto the land.
Our eyes met, and instantly, I knew something was different here.
He was looking at me.
He saw me.
What would he do? I was terrified, horrified and ashamed of who I was, petrified of who He was. My power, my possession, my brokenness, they were nothing compared to His presence.
With one command from the Master, my demons fled, and I was left there, naked, diseased, wounded, completely broken, lying in the dirt of my cemetery.
But this man didn’t avert His eyes. He knelt down, gripped my bony hand in His strong one, pulled me to my feet, never taking His eyes from mine.
I trembled beneath His knowing, but there was something else there too.
Could it be possible?
The Master brought me clothes, and healed my wounded spirit.
I was coming alive!
I could see clearly after all these years of death and darkness!
I see the townspeople, my parents, my brothers and sisters, they are coming, but they are….afraid?
Ironically, I am not afraid.
What’s more…I see them.
No, they don’t screech like wild animals.
No, they aren’t wracked with physical disease.
No, they don’t live here in the cemetery.
But now I see that they are just as dead as I was.
I want them to know the Master! I want them to be wrapped in true life! I want them to know this peace that has pervaded me!
The Master saw me.
He changed me.
I see them; I see others.
I know HE can change them also.
I healed my friend in the Gerasenes and he begged to come with me, but I told him no. Instead, I charged him to see others.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And Jesus did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Mark 5:18-19
I see you, Beloved.
I see your chains, I see you avert your eyes, I see the hardness in your face brought on by wounds so deep that no one sees them, but I do. I see your hurt, I see the sins you’ve committed, I see the ones committed against you, I see your regrets, I see your fear, I see the walls you’ve built, I see you.
But I also see who I created you to be.
And it is so much more than this!
I’m holding out my hand, I’m looking into your eyes, I’m offering my life of fullness in exchange for your death and emptiness.
Will you trade?
Come, find delight in me as I delight in you.
I’ll take you as my Bride, will you take me as your Bridegroom?
And the man went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled. Mark 5:20
Who do you see?!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!