A man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met Jesus. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain…Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.
Can everyone be loved?
I don’t know about you, but I have met many people who live like this poor creature. “What? Are you kidding?” No. I am not kidding. Names change and so do the places. We no longer see people living among the tombs, but we definitely see them living under bridges, on the streets, etc. Some places have become more sanitary and politically correct. There are no longer any insane asylums, but the truth of the matter is: many people still live their lives among the dead.
A man had been dwelling among the tombs. A person’s home can easily become a tomb. A teenager’s room can easily become their tomb. A nursing home or a hospital room can easily become a tomb. I know quite a few people who do not dare step out of their room or home or hospital bed. They shut the window blinds, allowing no life and no sunlight to enter. They live as if they were counted among the dead. They wish to have no contact with family members or friends. It could have all started long ago or recently with the loss of a loved one. It could have started with an irreparable argument. These poor creatures have abandoned themselves to the deepest of holes: despair, depression, distrust. How I pity them! How I pray that I may never be one of them! They live as if they were dead; that is, as if they have no one to turn to; no faith to resurrect them; no one to love them. All they have to hold on to are distant memories of long ago years.
Night and day he was crying out. Sleep is essential. Without it, we begin to lose our mind and equilibrium. We begin to hear strange (and strangely soothing) voices. We lose all sense of time, of boundaries, of right and wrong. We begin to see night as day and day as night. This poor beast could no longer rest. His past, his life, his surroundings were tormenting him. He spent all day crying out and bruising himself. Sound familiar? Of course we no longer cut ourselves with rocks. Why bother when you can do it with a razor blade. This poor beast was cutting himself and feeding his addictions.
What have you to do with me, Jesus? Often I have to go visit people who are possessed by their demons. It is not a pretty site. Way too often it is a battle of wills. Have you ever experienced this? I am sure you have! It is very common for someone who needs your help to reject your help! “I will be just fine. Leave me alone!” “I can take care of myself. I don’t need your help!” And so we leave. And yet, we should never leave. We should never give up. Don’t give up.
“Have you come to torment me?” My friends have become my enemies. And those who love me the most do not understand me! That’s right! Can you believe this? The Lord has become this man’s enemy! I know how he feels. As soon as I enter a patient’s room, the “beast” typically turns around and looks the other way, or will not make eye contact with me. They don’t want me in their room. They want me out of their life!
All were amazed. Just recently, I was invited by a family to see the movie, “Beauty and the Beast”. I wasn’t too thrilled to see it. But now I know why I had to see it. We all must remember something: that a thing must be loved before it can be lovable. Everyone can be loved. Sometimes it takes a day. Sometimes it takes a week. Maybe it may take a year. But in the end, love never fails.
That’s why Jesus never fails to amaze.