Friday, November 16, 2012

Here's My Card...Professional Mourner -- Yeah, that's not a job I want

A friend of mine’s great aunt was a born and bred Cajun. Cajuns have their own dialect, own language if you will, own culture and way of life. They have their own type of music and some of the most flavorful food your taste buds will ever have the pleasure of experiencing. I do not pretend to know everything about Cajuns because while I live in Louisiana, I live in northwest Louisiana. Really anyone from above Pineville/Alexandria area is considered a Yankee to a true Cajun. But my girlfriend tells a story of her great auntie. Her great auntie would get up every morning, drink her chicory coffee out of her demitasse cup and read the obituaries. She would read the obits to determine just how she would dress for the day. You see, her great auntie was a professional mourner. She’d attend the dirge, and she would wail and cry and moan and carry on for the deceased even though she had never spoken a word to them, never had laid eyes on them. She would attend the funeral, and she would stay for the food during the visitation. She was a regular at the funeral homes. It’s just what she did. If you’ve never seen a Cajun funeral in New Orleans, you really should. There is nothing like it. I remember seeing family and friends mourning and singing as they walked to a cemetery, and then later, I heard them coming out singing and playing music that jumped.

I know all of this sounds quite morbid, but from the first time I saw this and heard stories I’ve been curious.

We’ve been studying the story about the bleeding woman, and just like our lives and our own personal stories, her story is integrated into the life and story of another female. As a matter of fact, Jairus a local leader had gone to Jesus and asked him to come heal his daughter who was on her death bed. Jesus agreed and when Jesus was on his way, the bleeding woman touched him. Jesus was delayed, or at least if I was Jairus that’s what I would have been thinking. I’d be there tapping my foot and doing whatever I could to urge Jesus to keep moving forward to his house. Erin was a very sick baby and was in the hospital 6 times before the age of 3, and there was a doctor in the ER that incompetent – that’s the nicest way I can talk about him. It got to the point that when I was taking Erin to the hospital, I’d call her doctor, and her doctor would admit her over the phone. I’d do anything to get my daughter into a mist tint, breathing treatments and IVs.

But we don’t see that in this story. What we see is a believing father seeking out the Savior and then waiting. You don’t see Jairus interrupting the healing of the bleeding woman. You don’t read that he knocked one of the disciples out. You don’t read that Jairus kept checking his watch…lol. Once Jesus had healed the woman, Jairus receives the news that his daughter had died. Before Jairus’s emotions can kick into gear, Jesus tells Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (MK 5:36). WOW! I wonder if I were walking in Jairus’s sandals if I would have enough faith to JUST BELIEVE.

Have you ever asked yourself or said, “If Jesus would have just done _________, things would be different” or “things would be better if Jesus would have just ___________________.” Isaiah says God’s thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways. His thoughts and ways are so much higher than our own that we cannot comprehend. The Bible also says we only see things as if looking into a mirror dimly lit. God sees the whole picture. God knows the right timing. God know what will bring about the best outcome in the end. You JUST have to BELIEVE. How much do you trust Him? It’s easy to say that you trust him with your life until it is put to test by taking the health of a loved one.

Jairus, Jesus and a few disciples arrive at the home of Jairus, and the mourners have already started gathering like a bunch of vultures. They were wailing and carrying on. I love how the Message put it, “gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles.” (Sounds like they had southern Baptist back then – it’s okay to laugh here.) They were professional mourners. They knew the girl had died. That is why those people were there. And when Jesus said she was just asleep the mourners laughed. So what does Jesus do? HE PUTS THEM OUT. He put out the unbelievers. He removed them. Does that tell you anything? There are times and situations in your life that you need to remove unbelievers from your presence, from your trials because all they have to say is not what Jesus wants you to hear.

Jesus knew what was in store, but Jairus didn’t. He had to believe even when he didn’t see a way. The faith of that daddy in Jesus Christ is what restored his daughter to life. How is your faith or lack of faith affecting your children? Is it giving them life everlasting, or is it turning them away? Is your faith showing your children that we don’t live by sight and what seems obvious to man? There is more than one way to experience death…death in life and death in faith. What does your faith teach your children?

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