Mordecai left the king’s presence wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration. Esther 8:15
Mordecai had once served the king faithfully in anonymity. Now, he is famous. He once wore sackcloth and ashes to plead with God for the lives of his people. Now, he wears royal garments, a crown, and a robe. Once, his grief was inconsolable. Now, he rejoices because the hand of God has spared calamity for him, his family, and his nation. He certainly does not fear passion. You agree?
I once lived life in such a way that I could play it safe emotionally. Apprehensive of intense emotions, I failed to grieve my losses. But in the process, I forfeited the ability to dance over my victories. My face always looked the same. Pleasant, distant, and unapproachable. I felt like an actress, crying a few tears when I sensed it was appropriate and feigning joy when an occasion called for it. My own heart was buried beneath years of pain and a decision made long ago not to explore disappointments and heartaches.
Stoicism is no way to live. God is not stoic and because I was created in His image, I was designed to follow His lead. When I depart from His design in any area of my life, I cease to be fully alive.
- He is angry over injustice and gives me permission to feel the same. I am just not allowed to sin in my anger.
- He weeps over His creation who perishes for lack of knowledge and hopes I’ll cry similar tears.
- He aches for connection with His children and encourages me to strain for a connection with my own flesh and blood.
The things that move Jesus are to move me. What is the reward for this kind of emotional engagement? The ability to rejoice, to sing, to dance. If I’m too afraid to enter the valleys, my heart will suffer dysfunction. When the good times come, and they will, I will find myself dispassionate and unresponsive.
I’ve learned that I need not fear anything with You living inside of me, even the passion of my own soul. You’ve awakened my heart to all that it can experience. Thank you, Lord. Amen.
Originally published Friday, 10 May 2019.