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Real Life Bursts Through: Giving God Your Blemished Life

One of the best parts of the Interwebs the last two weeks has been the, now viral, BBC interview with Robert E. Kelley. Kelley, as you surely know, was being interviewed via Skype about the deadly important issues surrounding South Korean politics. Kelley is a professor at Pusan National University and was on the BBC discussing the ramifications the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

While Kelly was being interviewed, his wife, Kim Jung-A, was in the living room watching and recording her husband’s interview. To her shock, her children James (8-months) and Marion (4-years) burst into room creating a viral hit. This wasn’t the first Skype interview Kelley had done, but previously had always locked the door, thus keeping the children out. This time, however, the door was left unlocked and the kids, it has been reported, thought dad was talking the grandpa and they wanted to get in the action. Seeing them pop-n-lock into the background was a scene of sheer joy.

Having done interviews at home via Skype, Zoom, or Facetime, I’m aware of what happens when kids walk in during the middle of a conversation. It’s usually not a big deal and no one tends to mind. Of course, the Interwebs lost it’s mind. Some assumed Kim-Jung-A was the nanny. Others took the opportunity to criticize Kelley for “bringing work home” or “not balancing work and home.” People, it seems, never miss an opportunity to jump on their soap-boxes.

As cute as it was for some and however opportunistic it was for others, the whole event wasn’t funny for Kelley. This last week in the NYTimes, Kelley said, “We thought it was a disaster. We thought no TV network would ever call us again.”
What’s sadly fascinating about the Kelley’s story is not that it’s rare, but that it’s so common. What happened to Robert and Kim-Jung-A happens to everyone – real life bursts through into the façade we’ve tried to create. This is especially true for women and men in ministry.

Perhaps our greatest fear is that someone will see us as we really are, that the curtain will be pulled back and the shocking revelation that we are who we are will be made wholly known. That being our fear, we resist exposure at every turn. And because of it, we’re worse off.

I know from experience. I’ve been a pastor for 20 years and there are some things I know. One thing I know is that our attempts to hide from the reality of our lives and present only the Photoshop versions of it keep us from experience healing. In every church I’ve worked with there have been members in abusive relationships. Others are enduring things in our marriages that if someone we weren’t married to did that to us, we’d call the police. Some of us are secret alcoholics and drug addicts. Others are addicted to pornography. Some of us feel incredible shame and disgrace every day.

And the reason it’s not getting any better is because we keep secrets. But as a mentor told me several years ago, “we are only as sick as our secrets.”

In Mark 5, Jesus is on a healing tour. Everywhere He goes people are asking for healing and He’s fulfilling their requests. He’s casting out demons. He’s healing disease and then he meets a man named Jairus.
This is what happens in Mark 5:21

After Jesus returned across the sea, a large crowd quickly found Him, so He stayed by the sea. One of the leaders of the synagogue—a man named Jairus—came and fell at Jesus’ feet, begging Him to heal his daughter.
Jairus: My daughter is dying, and she’s only 12 years old. Please come to my house. Just place Your hands on her. I know that if You do, she will live.
Jesus began traveling with Jairus toward his home.

This may be the least interesting story in scripture. There’s a father who has 12-year-old daughter who’s sick. Most fathers I know would do anything for their little girls….And little girls know it. They give you that pouty look and climb in your lap and ask you for stuff they know their mom will say “no” to. You know mom would say “no” too, but you say “yes” anyway. Because that’s how dads are wired when it comes to their little girls. Jairus is a good dad. But this story is so much more than that, but we don’t know it unless we keep reading.

In the crowd pressing around Jesus, there was a woman who had suffered continuous bleeding for 12 years, bleeding that made her ritually unclean and an outcast according to the purity laws. She had suffered greatly; and although she spent all her money on her medical care, she had only gotten worse. She had heard of this Miracle-Man, Jesus, so she snuck up behind Him in the crowd and reached out her hand to touch His cloak.

Here’s where the plot thickens. Jairus comes to Jesus boldly on behalf of his daughter, but before Jesus can finish that miracle another woman, sneaks up behind Him.

Here’s what people do: We will boldly reach out to Jesus to heal other people. We are reluctant to reach out to Jesus to heal us.

We are fine with other people needing Jesus – regardless to the reason. Jairus goes to Jesus in the light of day, boldly, out in the open. This women, with this very personal condition, a private pain she feels like she should hide. In Jewish culture, her condition would’ve meant living outside the community. She was unclean. For 12 years she lived with exclusion and shame.

Most of us feel like we should hide who we really are and what’s going on with us. And many of us have been hiding a very long time. Some of us have felt shame about our condition in life for a very long time.

So we hide.

Jesus feels the power go out from Him. He asks the disciples, “Who touched me?” And the disciples are like, “there are hundreds of people touching you.”

But the woman knows Jesus is looking for her. Look what happens:

Woman: I touched You.
Then she told Him the reason why. Jesus listened to her story.

Do you think Jesus wants to hear your story? I think he does. Are you willing to believe that someone wants to know your story; to know your joys and pains; your hurts. Jesus isn’t interested in you unblemished life. He’s interested in the real thing.

Maybe you should give it to him.

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