I was watching a kid at my school doing some pretty amazing things with—are you ready for this??—a yo-yo!! It was eye-popping cool! Not just because of his skill, but because it was so retro as to be, not just “low-tech”, but “no-tech”. (Never mind that the toy cost $150; that’s just wrong.)
I’m waiting breathlessly for the return of the hulu-hoop…but no personal videos will be posted for readers’ enjoyment.
If there is one thing that our technological advances have done to us, it’s the removal of a sense of awe from our children. Not our younger ones, the little guys not yet totally exposed to the marvels of their i-phones, i-goggles, and whatever other virtual realities are bombarding their brains. But certainly by the time I get them in middle school, it takes quite a bit to get them out of their seats, at least if it has to do with techno-stuff. It’s just hard to compete since “awesome” is so commonplace.
Which gives me pause in this very familiar account of a woman who crashed a party looking for Jesus:
“When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.”
She had heard of and/or seen the man Jesus in action, and there was something about Him that struck her to her core. Hers was not a mere admiration or esteem, like going home after the ooohh’s and aaahhhh’s and gee, wasn’t that nice, following our July fourth pyrotechnics. On the contrary, her contact with Jesus had produce a genuine awe, the kind in which one feels nakedly exposed to something much greater and more powerful than oneself.
The awe prompted, no, necessitated a reaction, a response, a humbling admission and submission. Theologically, we call it “repentance”. I came, I saw, I changed.
Interestingly, it appears that she did not speak a word to Jesus. I just love that, because in my 21st century culture, we’re all about 4-steps, and certain words to pray, and that’s okay to a point—unless we get legalistic about it. I’m thinking it’s not too far of a stretch to say that Jesus immediately sent her out on a mission (“go”)—
“And Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’”
Here’s my point: Awe precedes repentance which is followed by authentic mission.
How many of us actually have peace in our “going”, our mission, even if it’s just our daily ones like packing the lunches and changing the diapers? If not, perhaps we have lost the awe of His faithfulness and His ability, and need to repent (again) of our anxiety and fear which can rear its ugly head in oh, so many different ways. (Ask my how I know this…I considered a bulleted list, but would most likely go over my word count.)
Instead, I’ll just advise us all to retrieve the awe, then go find that old yo-yo.
Luke 7: 37,38,50 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.