Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Who is this guy?

Our cabin retreat was great. The weather cooperated. It was truly great to have nothing going on and nothing to do. I highly recommend it. We are headed to Dallas this week for the release party of the film series that includes Eliot’s short film.

We continue to get great response to the special needs ideas. It will be really fun to sit back and see what comes of it. It seems to have great things in store.

Today marks five months since we held him. We continue to strive to take the Lord at His word.

I have been hanging out in John lately. I call it “hanging out” in John because that sounds better than rarely reading in John. So, my snail-of-a-study has focused lately on the reactions of others to Jesus’ teachings.

I see myself in these reactions. Here comes this man pointing his finger at the religious and claiming to be God. He does not speak the words they expect, does not accuse whom they expect, and refuses to maintain the status quo. They have been waiting for the Messiah. But not this Messiah. He is quite unexpected. His lessons are tough and penetrating; not the bedtime stories they held dear.

The gamut of reactions reveal much of their disillusionment with this Jesus character. A sampling of responses from John 6-8 include;

→ “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” (6:60)
→ From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
→ “Who do you think you are?” (8:53)
→ “How can the Christ come from Galilee?” (7:41)

I am in the crowd. Jesus is not always the one I wanted to know. Not who I bargained for. His lessons are not always solicited.

If I am to take Him at his word, I am left to believe that Eliot’s entire story will benefit me. That every facet of my son was within his control- even his death. I am not there. I am just now recognizing the destination. I am the shuttle looking down at earth. The target in view, but light years away.

Jesus poses some questions of his own to the crowds:

→ Does this offend you? (6:61)
→ You do not want to leave too, do you? (6:62)

Am I offended that Christ is not the flannel board Jesus from Sunday school? Can I allow Him to be Him? Can I believe that He can do what He says He will? Or do I throw in the towel and move on when faced with His “hard teachings”?

Can I accept a Jesus who comes in unexpected manner with surprising content?

I can only echo Peter as He responds to Jesus when asked if he too is leaving. The reply, to me, does not seem to be a boisterous endorsement, rather an honest plea.

“Lord, to whom shall we go…we believe”


Cary Murphy said...

Thanks, Matt. We are praying for you.

FunkyMonkeyJunk said...

So true. To whom SHALL we go? When I think of those folks that do not have Jesus Christ in their lives, I am so saddened and overwhelmed with wonder. How can they do it? I tried years ago. Obviously, it didn't work. And He wouldn't let me stay away for too long. I take comfort in that.

Anonymous said...

Matt and Ginny,
Miss you so much. So you are coming to Dallas? Stop by Fort Worth if you get a chance. My family and I would love to catch up. Thanks for keeping us posted. Praying for you!
-Brittany Hicks

natalie said...

We are with you in the crowd. Wanting to know Jesus and not wanting to know. But we are called to Him.

Praying for you always,

Anonymous said...


Alicia and Chris said...

I've been a reader of your site for awhile now, although I've never commented. I just wanted to let you know that there's a church in Dallas (where I live) that offers a program for children with special needs that sounds very similar to the heart you have. If you get a chance, maybe you could visit with them for ideas and encouragement. It's at Highland Park United Methodist Church on the corner of Bishop/Hillcrest and Mockingbird Lane - right on the campus of Southern Methodist University. I'm praying for this to come to fruition for the two of you!

Anonymous said...

Matt and Ginny-
As tears stream down my face, I cannot find the words in me to express my heart to you. I just watched 99 ballons. How beautiful. How sweet it was to see Eliot's sweet face and the smile that he brought to your faces. Thank you doesn't seem like an adequate way to express the admiration ad gratitude I have for the two of you and your ability to share your story. God continues daily to use Eliot's sweet little life to teach us so much. His accomplishments have exceeded the presidency, the heisman, and any other possibe eartly reward. How proud you must deservably be.
Love you-
Carrie Howard Uberecken

Anonymous said...

99 Balloons is absolutely beautiful. What a great tribute to such a great little boy.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Matt and Ginny, I know the time at the cabin was great- I think of you often as this spring has given such a beautiful reminder of the promise of rebirth and life- I am technologically(sorry can't spell)challenged and don't know how to find 99 Ballons- Please give guidance to over the hillers like me- I wish you both a blessed and joyful easter! You remain in my thoughts and prayers, Love, Mrs. Olivia

Anonymous said...

Just watched the clip online, and can't wait to see the rest. It was wonderful to see Eliot again and to remember him. Going to buy it as soon as I can find where Jackson has hidden my credit card! Love- Catherine