To begin with, I would like to update you. This past week after Don’s surgery has been quite a rough one. The surgery on Monday was deemed successful and we are looking forward to experiencing what was accomplished in the flesh to become manifest and felt in Don’s breathing. That has not yet taken place because he has a cough which impedes his breathing deeply and sends him into a painful spasm. The surgical pain has not decreased as expected. He was discharged on Wednesday, but I took him to the local ER on Thursday night because the meds were giving him hives, so the meds were switched. The new meds had little to no effect on his pain level. By yesterday, he was experiencing chills, pain, increased coughing and no rest or comfort. I was concerned about pneumonia. Back to the ER where they were able to manage his pain and sent him by transport back to Hershey Medical Center. He will have fluid drawn out at 2 pm today.
When the city came into view, he wept over it. “If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it’s too late. In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They’ll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. All this because you didn’t recognize and welcome God’s personal visit.” Luke 19:44 MSG
visitation – episkopeo – epi “on, appropriately fitting,” which intensifies skopé?,”look intently” – properly, oversight that naturally goes onto provide the care and attention appropriate to the “personal visitation.”
I’ve been pondering these words and the anguish of Jesus as He looked over Jerusalem on His journey toward the Cross. In the most basic sense, they missed the opportunity to recognize the One True God standing among them daily, teaching, warning, correcting, ministering, feeding body and spirit, healing, etc. He was the visual, auditory, tangible expression of the God Most High, the One prophesied about and longed for. And somehow – they missed their opportunity to see it. To see HIM.
Before I stand in judgment and shake my head in wonder (especially since I can quickly read the events in a matter of moments what they experienced for centuries before this day of visitation), I wonder what I have missed. It seems the Scripture often points out truths in tension, and brings to the surface the tensions that exist within my own heart.
Looking at the everyday, ‘minor’ details and missing the BIG picture of His visiting. To get caught up in the doctor’s visits and opinions, the diagnostic tests and often just feeling like I’m on autopilot for the next thing sets my sights pretty low. To miss the sacred in the ordinary is something I don’t want to miss. I can be ‘like Mary’ in getting caught up in details and miss that Jesus is sitting in my house while I rush around to serve. God has a big picture in all of this and I don’t want to miss it, to not ‘scope’ and in-spect and investigate it and grasp its meaning close to my heart. I don’t want to pass by and just see it in retro-spect in the rearview mirror.
(Cindy: Not sure what more to handle here, Lord. It feels so overwhelming at times. God: I AM handling it, Cindy. Nothing is too hard or big for Me. Notice the wheelchair escort who just happened to be in the elevator when you and your mom were going up and she was tired of walking? I arranged the timing of that small thing that was huge for your mom. Let me handle the details. Just notice them and know they are sent special delivery)
Looking at the big picture and missing Him in the details. The things prophesied were very often very specific in nature, yet often fuzzy and open to speculation as to how, when, etc. In setting their sights on what the Messiah would look like, they missed Him standing in their midst, opening His arms to gather us them a mother hen. When I set my sights on my expectations of what this day or season should look like, I miss Him in the details, the touch of His hand, the warmth in His eyes, the protection of His wings.
(Cindy: With all the people in this huge hospital with life-and-death cliffs before them, lots of pain, and I ask You for a ‘good parking place’? Sorry for my pettyness, Lord! God: Yes, Cindy, bring all your requests to Me – I AM in the big and the small details. Nothing is too small for Me)
Lord, may I set my eyes on You today, seeing You in the details and not missing the big picture of what You are seeking to accomplish in all of this, that seems random, that feels hard, that is uncomfortable. May I see you through the microscope of the smallest detail and know it is not random. May I scope Your hand in the telescope and see the vastness of Your grace, power, and love. May I find comfort in the shadow of Your wings and hear Your voice in the details. Thank You that You are with me in this opportunity to experience You anew. And may the Jesus in me be the ‘visitation opportunity’ for others to see and experience You today. Amen