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December 14, 2006


Lesley Johnson

I can say that I understand the difficulty in this. For the past year I have been convicted of what this prayer is saying. This conviction has screamed to me "I am leading to you to act out the faith, you say you have for me, yet you do not act!"
Jesus did not die for me to be complacent and live a peaceful life where I just sit in the stands and quietly observe all that is going on around me.
In that, I am a hypocrite... I say I am a follower of Christ, yet I do not listen to him when he blasts my heart with Matthew 25:31-46... in short "whatever you did not do for the least of my brothers, you did not do for me." How can I say I love Christ and not do his will- not feed his hungry, not cloth his homeless, not help his sick, not speak his truth boldly to those who need to hear his truths.
Maybe the difficulty you are having is not the same as mine, but I will be bold in saying that my conviction is probably a conviction that we, who say we are followers of Christ, all have, in that we are not living our faith.


I also see the difficulty in accepting this benediction into my life. I particularly have a difficult time with this section:
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy

I read that and think about the amount of tears I have shed over the cases I currently work with and then see that there are so many more tears to shed! I can't just pick for whom I fight for, I need to fight for all those who are suffering - including those people that I deal with that are very difficult to love and cry tears for. I agree with both you and Lesley that this whole benediction is one we must accept and live out, we can't just pick and choose which parts. That, for me, is what makes it so incredibly difficult to accept.


I think it is absolutely beautiful and important for us that it is difficult. We live this pampered, selfish existence all too often, especially living in this part of the world. We read about the persecution of Jesus, and followers of Jesus, like Paul, in our plush, padded church seats, or our comfortable, adjustable computer chair, and we think we get it and we understand,.... too often we don’t. Maybe this Easter we should go to Bishops Wood products and buy this giant, too heavy piece of lumber, carry it around the streets of the town where we live, as we fall and bloody our knees with pain and field the ridicule of those who don’t understand. And then maybe we can start to begin to understand. I have come to believe that the worst things that have happened in my life have actually been the best things.
I personally walked aimlessly in the desert for 44 years, until I could find no water, and I could find no food. And then, in my despair, I found JESUS.


My wife Joan sent me your post to remind me why I attend Resonate. It is a dangerous prayer. It requires me to see, hear, listen, change. Perhaps more dangerous for me to speak when silence would be so much easier.

As a person with a disability I know first-hand the marginalization of people with disabilities. If you were to put all 650 million people with disabilities in the world in one country we would the world's third largest country. We would also be the world's poorest least educated least evangelized and most abused people

We live in an increasingly hostile world. From many fronts the message comes, "you're better off dead than disabled.” It a lie straight from the pit of hell! Yet it's alive believed by much of the world and even many in the church. I pray we have the courage to change that.

Lesley Johnson

Jerry- you are a blessing. It's people like you that have the power and ability to change that mentality. My brother-in-law has down-syndrome and I have seen some hostility towards him. I only wish that I could look at the world with the innocence that he sees in things. People with disabilities are blessings and we can learn so much, if we'd only open our eyes .

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