Monday, October 5, 2009
“What have you to do with us, O Son of God?" Matthew 8:29
I have been looking at a lot of pictures this week, some from the wedding and some from church events. I have always been a full-bodied woman, and I have always hated looking at pictures of myself. This week body image and the harsh words flung my direction as a child come back in a flash. I clearly remember being called a pig quite often.
When I read this Gospel from Matthew, I have always felt sorry for the farmer who owned the pigs and the pigs themselves. Oh, I know that pork is not Kosher, and that the symbolism and rejection (of Jesus along with the demons and the pigs) is what is important here, but I have always had sympathy for the pigs. They didn't deserved to house demons, let alone be moved to leap to their deaths. I also know that there are many young boys and girls, who, because of their body and the cultural push to be very, very thin, who think about ending their own existence. They are possessed with the demons of failure and rejection. They are treated like un-kosher animals - shunned and rejected. And yet, the story from Matthew talked about Jesus who is shunned despite the fact that he has healed the troubled man. Love that strong and evident also frightens people. Love was rejected that day. It was an all around painful event, except for the healing of the young man. I have always wondered if there was restoration for the farmers' loss.
Today, I pray that we can all accept and welcome one another as beloved and beautiful. I pray that I might be able to be a conduit of Gods love in a world that judges so harshly. I pray that I can find a way to reach out to the rejected and shunned among us. For Gods love flourishes among the rejected, among the shunned, among the losers and the failures. Jesus came to the caves, to the demented man and he come among us in our darkest hours.