“’Sir,’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool…’”
I shared with my home group last week (we meet Wednesdays, come join us!)—that the GOSPEL is like a cool, refreshing pool of water inviting us to jump in and find healing, hope, joy, love, rest, wisdom, eternal life. Once we discover this hidden “God’s-pool” (Gospel) we’ll want to jump in regularly, and bring our friends with us. We’ll long to swim there daily; to splash, frolic, and dive deep. We’ll want to make our camp right on the banks, to live close by, so we can quickly and easily make our way into the water. The really wonderful thing is that the refreshing water of the GOSPEL is so ACCESSIBLE to us, and to those we’d wish to share it with! See, there are ENDLESS “jumping in” points. The KEY is to find the “jumping in” point nearest to you, to your friends, and help each other jump in.
Several weeks ago a childhood friend called me out of the blue. We hadn’t seen each other in five years. My friend shared with me that during that time, for various reasons, he had turned away from God, and had considered himself to be an atheist. Essentially, he had lived as if he was dead to God and God was dead to him. To my great delight, he asked me to help him turn back to God; to help him “jump in” to the gospel. I listened to his story, asked questions, and paid attention to what he was saying (and to what the Holy Spirit was saying), trying to discern the “jumping in point” closest to him. Soon it hit me, “Of course, (Luke 15) ‘the Parable of the Prodigal Son!’” And that became my dear brother’s jumping in point. I shared that God was running to him with arms open wide. “Just come home!” It was a sacred night as we made our way through the jungle to this “jumping in” point. We had tears in our eyes, as we bowed our heads together and prayed—jumping in with both feet. Splash!
I grew up in a very physically affectionate home where we hugged, kissed, wrestled, tickled, gave “piggy back” rides, and put our feet in each other’s face to show how much we cared. Thanks to “nature/nurture” my primary love language is physical touch. At age 18, and college bound, I said “good bye” to that wonderful world of “touchy” love, and for the past 15 years, as a single man, I have lived with a perpetual ache in my heart to be touched! A couple of months ago, a homeless man hugged me (when I gave him a dollar). As I walked away, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t been hugged in over two weeks! I’m learning to see that “ache” to be touched as a great “jumping in point” into the gospel. I have been meditating on how Jesus touches those who desperately need to be touched (Mt 17:4, Mk 1:41, Mk 10:13); how he doesn’t stand at a cold distance from us, but He takes us in his hands, and handles us. His skin touches our skin. His touch gives healing, love, warmth. I’m finding that, in the dark haven of my prayer closet, by faith, Christ is able to touch me profoundly with his presence. Along with meditating on Scripture, and communing with Christ in prayer, there are other ways I feel God’s intimate touch; embracing friends, playing with children, holding babies, petting puppies, squeezing my parents tight when I visit, and walking barefoot on the beach. These are all “jumping in” points for me, where I experience God’s touch, God’s love, in “God’s-pool.”
Where is your jumping in point? Here’s a hint; the trailhead probably picks up where you are aching in your heart, fearful, hurting, restless, feeling deeply, or feeling nothing. Start there; ask the Holy Spirit and a good friend to help you make your way through the jungle to the nearest “jumping in” point….and make a splash!
“Go,” (Jesus) told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam.” So the (blind) man went and washed, and came home seeing.” —John 9:7