A favourite Christian and contemporary artist of mine Charlie Mackey has drawn and sculpted a beautiful Bronze Prodigal Son which sensitively depicts the son being hugged by the Father. It is included too at the end.
We are all made in the image of God and that image goes also with our mind, body and spirit.
Our God is not one who looks down upon us in our difficulties He is one who shares them with the knowledge of the incarnate God made man who lived on earth as a man Jesus.
An emotional Being. Like us. Who we can cry out to. Who understands.
Awareness of Mental Health has been in focus over the last week. People have shared their experiences of periods in their lives where they have struggled and the liberation of knowing this is not something that only they have experienced but that for many reasons it has been significant for periods of time in the lives of so many.
The recognition sometimes that the symptoms like others in our bodies are sometimes a chemical issue which controlled medically can easily be resolved, it just needs the diagnosis and correct treatment.
Very often the Symptom can be triggered by grief, loss or being overwhelmed by circumstances.
That period of pain can often be helped by sharing. Talking about it, halves a problem.
It is a very true Proverb: A problem shared is a problem halved.
Sometimes it is just presence that is required, to not feel alone. We don’t have all the answers but our presence sharing another’s anguish is required. It is not always necessary to know the words to say in fact we must never be embarrassed to communicate in silence that is fine where words cannot express. It is the sharing.
In times when social distancing was not the case a wordless hug was that presence.
To feel the closeness of the presence of Jesus brings with it great comfort and solace. Why? Because He is not an onlooker with sympathy. He is a sharer with empathy.
He is compassionate and likewise we have a Good Father.
Individuals can suffer grief as can we collectively in such times as these during the pandemic and lockdown.
We don’t all start from the same place. There are those who started the period with a very full bucket of reserved well being, some with only half or a quarter and some with already low reserves.
We are all in the same storm but the boat we are in and our reserves varies in strength and the ride is therefore significantly different. Perhaps why for some the comment of feeling exhausted, even when supposedly doing little is a very real comment.
The fact is that it is us in the here and now in history and this phenomenon. God has each and everyone of us under His wings and in His arms.
He has a purpose for us even in the middle of this.
God is not helpless in the ruins.
New life always follows.
Sunshine always follows rain so don’t worry.
Death never gets the last word life does.
The illustration represents being held closely and tightly by Jesus. Knowing His arms comfort and support.
Two scriptures which come to mind:
‘Our master Lord Jesus has His arms wide open for you ‘. 1 Cor 16 v 23 MSG
“His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you. You can run under his covering of majesty and hide. His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.”Psalms 91 v 4
A Bethel song below: ‘One thing Remains‘
Bronzes by Charlie Mackesy