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Touch It Anyway

“Mama, this hurts really bad when I touch it.”

“Well baby, don’t touch. We’ve got to leave it alone and let it heal. Leave it be, it’ll be all better.”

“Oh yeah, okay Mama.”

She just took it. So matter of fact, that answer was okay with her. She left the bruise alone, but when she fell on it… that hurt hurt even more.

My kids were playing. The sun was out. The laughs were loud and the fresh cut grass made the day smell even better.

You know those days? The ones that even in all the chaos there’s a warmth even for the moment that says life isn’t just okay, it’s good? Time just stands still.

I was sweeping my front porch and noticed a gap in one of my doors I painted in the fall. My eyes immediately flooded with tears before I even had time to grab them.

Time scrambled backwards without me even giving it permission. Suddenly I was sitting in the gap of that door with a paint brush reliving another gap- one I pushed over because other bruises hurt more than that one.

I was going through the motions- up, down, dip, repeat when my mom stumbled out of her car the night of my son’s 7th birthday.

I could tell by the flap of her feet, before any words were spoken, that she was altered.

More bruises, more gaps. More racing back of time to all the visits in rehab, the visit to the penitentiary. It wasn’t the familiar sound of her feet that hurt me, but what it had represented so many times all those years before.

She laughed as she approached the porch, no gap there- just confirmation, and she sounded free.

That wasn’t a time of travel, but one of understanding. Things hurt her too. She couldn’t touch them. For years she left them be, giving them time to heal.

But for her they just didn’t.

“Baby, don’t touch it. Give it time to heal.”

“Okay, Mama”

I preach transparency, honesty, real and raw reflection of self.

I tell you that healing is better than pretending, that looking good isn’t the same as being good, and that God meets us where we are, not where we pretend to be.

I believe that it saves us; it saved me.

There’s a encounter in the Bible that involves Jesus, the disciples, and a blind man.

I think as readers and studiers of the Word, we often narrate it’s stories around our lives.

In this particular story, the followers of Jesus wanted to know what this man or his parents may have done that caused him to become blind. For a long time, and maybe even until just now, I always pictured myself as this man.

Some days I play the victim and I wonder why all of these awful things have happened, and others I play the victor, sitting back while others point and gossip about who they think I am, the places they think I may have come from, or the things they think I may have done.

I don’t know all of these people because I’m blind, remember, but for some of them I recognize their voices.

Some are deacons others are community pillars but all of them are Christians. I can tell by the way they frame their accusations and light their arrows:

“Bless her heart she…”

“I’ve been praying, did you know…”

“I just don’t understand how she…”

I wonder why, in this biblical encounter, Jesus was so quick to quiet His disciples, to correct them, but yet there is still so much noise around my story or yours?

Perhaps His followers today aren’t walking as closely as they’d like to imagine?

Jesus told the disciples no, it’s not him, it’s not his parents, it’s me. I did it, I allowed it. It’s for my glory.

Even as I sit at this very moment, letting my heart pour its convictions over the tips of my fingers, I see me there all this time before- just sitting, listening. I imagine the blind guy praying, waiting, maybe even knowing, like I do, that God will use this all, but as unfortunate as his circumstance may be, he’s an ears distance away listening to Jesus speak on his behalf, to correct on his behalf, silence on his behalf.

“Baby don’t touch it, give it time to heal.”

“Okay, Mama”

My little girl she noticed what hurt, and she brought it to her mom. Here, the man sat, and Jesus came.

Jesus spit, made mud, and covered the mans eyes.

I’ve had to really think here. Of all the things, of all the tricks in his sack, Jesus uses spit? Mud?

And He put it on the mans eyes. He brought attention took to his weakness, to his ailment and He did it PUBLICLY.

It doesn’t say that the man was there waiting for Jesus or that He had even asked for His help.

How long will Jesus wait on us to expose ourselves before He approaches us just the same way, putting on display every vulnerability and giving us a choice.

As the man sat there with mud visible in cracks and crevices that left him limited, God said, “Go, Wash.”

He said touch it, and what I think is even more important is this: He didn’t tell him what would happen if he did and he didn’t explain what would happen if he didn’t.

“My daughter is watching me, that’s how important my decisions are”

Have you read that quote too? Did it feel heavy to you also?

What if we stopped “giving it time” and instead gave it effort?

Maybe we would touch some of the things that hurt us instead of decorating them we wouldn’t be left faking.

We could post that picture of our spouse and really mean we’re best friends or at the very least stop pretending it’s that way.

We could quit googling scriptures and quotes, hoping that person will see it and instead start having difficult conversations that might produce something more than unsettled issues and unchecked feelings.

If we started touching things maybe we could quit coping or covering and start healing.

Those that knew the man before said it’s him, and others said no it can’t be, but he looks like him.

The man said It’s me.

Yes, I’m the one that <insert your mess, your ailment, your secrets>

But how can it be, how are you better?

The man called Jesus, He told me to go wash, and I did.

The name of this water was the pool of Siloam which means ‘sent’.

You thought you had just made the biggest mistake of your life, but you were just being prepared.

Our mistakes equip us, our send calls us, but only our obedience qualifies us.

Re-reading the scripture in John chapter 9, it says he anointed his eyes with mud made from salvia.

Anointed with mud, because God brings miracles out of messes should we choose to heal from our hurt and not hide from it.

We cannot sit idly by listening to whispers being the victim one day and the victor the next.

So what if they’re whispering. You don’t have to touch their insult to touch your trigger.

Quit waiting on Jesus to pass by and offer you what He’s already died for. The enemy wants you idle, but Jesus wants you clean.

Go wash.

Go heal.

And since God has given you all you need…

Go be sent,

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