As I begin writing, I can hear thunder - it's off a ways, but it always pulls up a past scenario.
I'm immediately reminded of this little white fluff of a Maltese pup that used to rule our home.
Her name was Tilly.
Tilly was afraid of nothing.
She'd go after any animal, or human, that didn't belong in her yard.
She even thought she was a bird dog, and would go into a full point when any would come searching for worms.
Well, fearful she was not.......except when it thundered.
So, any time I hear thunder, I'm drawn back to the multiple times she would cower and shake like a leaf in my arms until it passed.
Just putting her in another room DID NOT work (NO THANK YOU!), she had to be held (good thing she wasn't a Bernese Mountain Dog)!
Just tuck that story away for now....
My Lent-Challenge has me reading through all four gospels, over the course of a week, for the next concurring six weeks.
I've chosen The Passion Paraphrase, and am fully enjoying some of the fresh ways the scholars have rephrased some old-words that have grown a little tired (keep in mind this is a PARAPHRASE).
However, I highly recommend changing translations from time-to-time, asking the Lord to help us forget what we think we know and show us Truth anew.
I've found myself grateful that the Lord chooses all sorts to speak-forth-life-giving-words, be they hated-but-reformed-tax-collectors, professional doctors, smelly fishermen, or scared kids who turn tail and run away when things get tough.
There's a ministry that fits us all - a place for all our stories of redemption.
For this one thing is definitely TRUE: the gospels are overshadowed by one meta-narrative...
...in the end, Jesus redeems EVERYTHING!
People were awestruck by Jesus.
They were especially astonished, and stopped short, by His words.
His teaching moved them.
Sometimes with wonder.
Other times with dread.
All the time with respect!
They'd heard nothing like what they were hearing from Him!
"The people were awestruck and overwhelmed by His teaching, because He taught in a way that demonstrated God's authority, which was quite unlike the religious scholars."
In fact, look at one of the notations made in a commentary on Mark 1:22:
The Greek word used in this passage for "awestruck" is ekplesso. It is a strong verb, meaning filled with amazement, to be astonished, panic stricken. It is something that takes your breath away - to be shocked... Clearly, Jesus spoke with such glory and power emanating from Him that His words were like thunderbolts in their hearts (emphasis mine)..."
What the every-day-human sensed coming from Jesus' mouth was DIFFERENT.
It rumbled and echoed in the caverns of their hearts and minds.
Jesus taught from His soul, out of His experiential knowledge of the Father...
Obedience out of a want-to...
Because there is no fear, or even a hint of rebellion, when you know with certainty you are loved!
To know the Father is to know love...
In fact, spoken tradition trumped even what was written on the scrolls...
Jesus challenged the most educated among them.
His words were like thunderbolts in their hearts...
I am listening for the rumbling in my own.
Where is it?
Why do I not hear it every time I pick up the Word of Life?
How have I become so desensitized to it?
The tradition of Lent is a 40-day-sacrifice.
The purpose is to look inward and to mourn the death that sin has caused in our lives...
...To re-discover the WHY of the CROSS FOR ME!
I've stopped paying attention...
His words don't always resonate within me with the powerful force of AWESTRUCK.
I confess often reading with a casual attitude.
I confess becoming desensitized.
It's so easy with the fast-pace of the world around me.
But, this Lenten Challenge has reminded me that it's time to STOP and listen for the THUNDER!
And, when push comes to shove, let the thunder drive me, shaking, into the arms of the one who came to SAVE!
He may be loud, and sometimes we may even feel a sense of panic, but He is always GOOD!