Do Not Disturb (Bowie)
Johnson begins this continuation of his "God on Mute" when Jesus went to Judea to see the body of Lazarus. When he gets there, he's greeted by the two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha runs to him saying, "Jesus, why weren't you here? If you had been here, my brother wouldn't have died!!" But then Mary came. This is the woman who would later pour perfume on Jesus' feet. She echos the words of Martha, "Jesus, if only you had been here, my brother wouldn't have died." Jesus responds by looking out over the crowd and weeping. He was "deeply moved in spirit and troubled". Then came the shortest verse in the Bible; "And Jesus wept". When we think about Jesus showing up, we think about Him speaking, healing, casting out demons and performing miracles. But here, Jesus is weeping. The picture is Jesus crouching with heavy drippy sobbing. He took in the full emotion that we experience. The truth is, for us, we don't know how to grieve. We are in a culture that tells us just to keep on moving. Sometimes, we feel alone; like God is silent, but many times we don't even give God a place to talk with us. We sweep our problems under the rug. We build a wall that we refuse to expose to Him. "Proud flesh" is a condition that affects horses. It can occur when a horse gets a scrape and the skin is opened up. When the skin heals, sometimes the outside will heal and fold in faster than the inside skin. It looks healed, but when you touch it, it becomes obvious that it is not. It has to be reopened to heal properly. That's what we sometimes have emotionally. In the Jewish culture, our heritage, there is this mandated process of healing. This process opens with "shivet" (spelling?). This comes from Genesis 15, where Joseph mourns over the death of his father. "Shivet" comes from the word "seven", so this first stage is a 7-day process of mourning. When someone dies, it is very tough to grieve in the moment. We are seeing old friends and family as they come to a funeral, so we have to normally "be strong". We are numb and even shocked. Shivet actually begins when we come back from the funeral. Shivet creates kind of an island where we we can go and just be. In Jewish culture, their grief is acted out. They are openly deeply disturbed. They cover up mirrors for inward reflection. They don't go to work, shave, shower, cook or run errands. This process is actually required in the faith when a close one is lost. Because of this process, it becomes easier for God to heal the hurt. There is a shivet candle, which is symbolic of reaching out to God. Then the Jewish people cite words to God that calls on Him for his mercy. Other members gather in community around the person in grief to comfort them. "Sloshum" (spelling?) is the secondary phase of grieving. They are still not allowed to shave, shower or go to parties. But it is a time where they can begin to step back into normalcy. "Yarzeet", meaning a year, is the final stage of grief. Every single week (in ancient times, every day), there is this prayer, "kidish" that must be said to continue to pursue healing. "Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May he establish His Kingdom in your lifetime and during your days and within the lives of the entire house of Israel; speedily and soon. May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity. Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One. Blessed be He beyond all blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world. Amen. And may there be abundant peace from Heaven and life for us and for all Israel. Amen. And He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel. Amen. " Notice that this prayer doesn't mention death anywhere! It forces the Jewish people to praise God in the midst of our grief! In the first paragraph, "Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will..." are words that must be said. By Jewish law, those in grief were forced to surround themselves with 10 others who could help and remind them to praise God in their agony. Whenever we are spiritually broken, we have to have crutches to heal. We need our Community Group and our friends. Ultimately, we need to lean on Jesus, but without our Christian friends, this can be tough. In Matthew 5:4, Jesus says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Could this mean that if we DON'T mourn, we AREN'T blessed? God calls us to mourn; to rest on Him. Johnson's son will cut himself on his hand, come screaming to his father, but then he won't let Johnson see it so he can help him! This is what we do to God sometimes. We have to let God see our wounds so He can touch it. He has to rip the band aid off, examine it and then begin the healing process. In Revelation 12, it says that we defeat Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. At this point, Johnson calls up a girl named Angel, who gives a testimony of healing. Angel was sexually abused at 7 and raped at 17. In her family, they would build up walls and sweep things under the rug. She wasn't a Christian at the time, so she didn't know to lean on God. In her 20's, she fell into addictions and mistrust behaviors. But she met the Lord in her late 20s. Although a lot of her guilt was lifted, she still felt unhealed. God begin to peel back the layers, which were painful and had the affect of her withdrawing. She would go into God's presence and read healing scriptures over herself. It was a long, hard process, but she felt God was there and helped her overcome. She's now married and actually trusts her husband. She had to bring everything before God, let Him open the wounds up, examine them and then heal them. He is our God of Hope, Comfort and Healing. A good friend of Johnson's sister just gave birth to a severely mentally handicapped son. Right out of high school, a good friend of Johnson's fell asleep at the wheel and died. Johnson's wife recently had a miscarriage. These things can't be swept under the rug!! In Psalms 56:8, it says that God cares enough for us that He collects our tears.
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