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April 2017 Newsletter

An ongoing series of informational entries

We Can No Longer Carry the Baggage

by Laurie Nichols

April 1, 2017

Last week I was watching an older episode of Veggie Tales in which Junior Asparagus, as usual, says something incredibly simple, yet profound: “If you’re special to Him, then you’re special to me, too.”

This gave me complete pause, and it took me several minutes just to get out of deep thought.

How often do we fill our open arms with extra baggage that weighs our witness down? Maybe it’s the baggage of fear or anxiety, or the baggage of too little time or opportunity. Or perhaps it’s the baggage of not really liking someone, or realizing that just maybe we don’t want to reach out and love another.

The truth is, our outstretched arms to another must be bare and naked, having shaken off anything that would cause them to turn inward, even slightly. The image I get is of Jesus’ naked arms nailed to a Roman cross. You’ve seen lots of images depicting it. His life-saving arms were raised high in the greatest act of love imaginable. His arms were naked and open because all of us are special to Him.

I am special. You are special. Your neighbor is special. The stranger, the foreigner, the widow, the beaten, the downcast, the bitter, the angry, the kind and compassionate, and the mean and thoughtless. All are precious to Him.

What if we were to imagine ourselves overlaying our own arms over the ones we see lifted high on the cross? The baggage that stops us from loving others and showing & sharing the love of Jesus would soon become too heavy the longer and higher we tried to reach.

This is picture, I believe, of what Junior Asparagus said. When we truly know how special all those around us are to God, then any baggage we will carry will fall to the ground. And finally, finally, our naked and bare arms are able to love others like we never thought possible.