It’s My Party, And I’ll Cry If I Want To

August 28th, 2008 • Category: Gospel of Luke
by Melody Merida

Today’s scripture: Luke 18:35-43 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Melody Merida):

I must confess that I am a crier. Not a week goes by without me shedding some tears at least once or twice. I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m sad, I cry when others are happy or sad. Basically with any emotion I feel come the tears. I’m often embarrassed about my lack of control over those darn ducts in my eyes.

Many times I find myself trying not to let the floodgates open so that I can maintain some sort of façade of control over my emotions.On some occasions I go so far as to intentionally try to not be present to the situation and think about something distracting instead.

For example, one Sunday I was moved by a powerful music experience in a church service, so (of course) I was on the verge of tears. But I knew that I was about to step up to the platform for an extemporaneous prayer, so I began to go through multiplication tables in my head as a distraction. I stopped singing and worshiping and also stopped allowing the Spirit of God to move me — while I thought of math. When it came time for the prayer I was as removed and cold as could be, but at least I didn’t cry!

Now some might say that was a good thing. It allowed me to maintain control over my emotions so that I could do what I had to do. But on reflection, I’m not so sure. It was this experience that came to mind for me when I read the story of the blind beggar.

The power of Jesus, the faith of the beggar, and the miracle of sight restored all hold wonderful lessons. But what cut me to the core was the attempt at censorship from those who were leading the way into Jericho on the path occupied by the blind beggar. In this story the censorship was external to the blind man, but it became intensely personal for me — my censorship tends to come from within.

The censors on the path were probably embarrassed — after all, who wants Jesus to see the dirty, poor, blind, beggar when entering your city? It’s like having a homeless person on the front porch when your pastor shows up for dinner. In the same way, I sometimes also try to quiet the Holy Spirit within me because of what others might think.

For me, the self-censorship comes when tears or anything else may cause me to be vulnerable to those around me. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Many of us scold ourselves when we begin to allow something to seep out that has before remained securely locked away.

For the blind man in our story, only when he refused to be censored and shouted to Jesus with reckless abandon was he given back his sight. Oh, to be that courageous! To shout (or cry) when the censors tell us to be quiet. Let go and allow yourself to shout now, “Lord, I want to see!”

Thought for the day: When do I censor myself to maintain my front of perfect control? How can I let go and just be real?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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