I just returned from a great week of continuing education in New York. A double blessing was staying with my sister’s family in Brooklyn. My niece is a vivacious ten-year-old and my nephew is a powerful two. He is very, very two.
It was a blast to see my nephew assert his independence. The second he heard “don’t,” he sprang into action. Whether it was eating off of his sister’s plate or getting in a good punch, whatever was forbidden became his holy grail. Saying “no” to something made it irresistible.
I may be 37 years older but I completely relate. No double fudge brownies, no caffeine at night, no sleeping in – I want them all! But I’ve “matured.” I’ve learned impulse control. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve learned it too well.
The Gospel for this Sunday recalls one of Jesus’ beautiful healing miracles. A blind man who suffered from a speech impediment was made, by the power of God, to see and speak clearly. This is our God! Hallelujah! But immediately after, Jesus turns to the crowd and commands, ‘Don’t say a word about this!’ Yeah, right. I love the way the text puts it, “but the more [Jesus] ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it” (Mark 7:36b). They couldn’t help proclaiming the miracle of God’s love. They wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. All too often, I can.
“Don’t talk about politics or religion,” we’re told. So many times I’ve kept quiet.
What if we don’t take “no” for an answer? What if we reclaim a little two-year-old rebellion? What if we insist on talking about the miracle of God’s love in Jesus? What would the world be like?
One double fudge brownie couldn’t hurt, too…right?
See you Sunday…