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Plugged In

 

International travel always requires the adapters to be packed with the chargers necessary to keep everything up and running.

Funny thing is there are so many different types, I have to check to be sure I have the exact one to work in each country. Even so, there are times I get into places that nothing seems to work. I can not connect. Without contact – there is no power. Without power – things die. My phone, computer and extra battery packs – die. And me – if I don’t stay plugged in to God – the same thing happens to me.

When I’m in India, we worship with the Dalits. This group of people are the lowest caste in a system that still exists in our modern day world. Take some time and google them. After church services they lined up to have our team pray individually with them. I was talking to a woman at dinner and sharing with her how powerful that experience always is for me. How humbling. How sweet. They don’t understand a thing I say nor do I understand them. However, thankful for  the age old hand gestures, smiles and when appropriate, hugs, I usually know how to pray for them. 

My friend pointed out that being Dalits, there is no other caste that will come in physical contact with them. The mere fact that we touch, hug and return their unique style of handshake is a huge part of the experience for them. I never even thought about that. Human touch. Connecting.

Can my mind even come close to imagining how it would feel to know no matter how clean my physical appearance is, that the world would consider me dirty and untouchable?

I think not.

Touch is something we take for granted. Deprivation of touch is downright sad to me.

Connecting. Sharing the space and energy we give when we hug is a precious gift. 

Consider the woman who touched Jesus in Luke 8:42-48. Jesus knew when she touched Him. He felt it. He said He felt the power leave Him. She believed if she only briefly touched Him that she would be healed. Then Jesus turned to her and when she admitted to the touch, He commanded her to be healed. Her connecting to Him changed everything. She walked away healed of a terrible affliction. When the connection is right, correct and strong the power source is connected and amazing things happen.

When I connect with Jesus through prayer and study of His words, my life changes. My energy source is renewed and my outlook on life changes. My life is up and running. As my relationship with Jesus has deepened through my life experiences, I have learned how to check my connection with Him when life is draining me and feelings of hopelessness crowd in. Recognizing what is lacking in my life happens faster and I can reconnect to Him – the ultimate power source immediately when I realize my own power is not enough.

Traveling around the world and being able to worship in other cultures has taught me an awareness of how touch is viewed. Being respectful is critical. No matter what, I would never, ever hug a man (even a dear friend) in India or any Middle Eastern or several other countries. It’s important to know how to adapt to other cultures. Just as I have to be prepared with my electrical outlet adapters, I need to be prepared with the cultural adaptations necessary to move appropriately in the situations that arise.

But rectangle prongs do not fit into round holes. No matter how hard I try, I will never make that happen. Ever. No amount of religion (which I personally define as law keeping that never connects the soul to God), counseling, accumulation of material wealth, good food, etc, etc, etc, will ever fit the holes in us that God designed only for Himself to fill. 

The true connection, the one that provides the power to recharge my heart, soul and mind, is Jesus Christ, the son of the one true God who died for me. Period.

So, it is with great gratitude that I know Jesus is always with me. I don’t have to carry adapters with me in our relationship, always changing, always hoping I have the right piece. In my walk with Him, there is only One.

In closing I share with you a beautiful portion of the letter Paul wrote to the Ephesians.

“My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

20–21  God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”

 Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Eph 3:14–20). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.

With Peace and Gratitude,

Janet

 

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