The Word Became Flesh – He Still Does

Word-became-flesh

When Stuff Is Scary

Is this rude to admit? Hope’s house scared me.

Hope was moving. She needed help packing up her 3-bedroom house, where she’d raised her family, to move to a small condo in Tennessee where she would live alone.

But there was a huge roadblock:
tons of stuff.

In the living room we stepped over clothes. Empty boxes. Picture frames. Food wrappers. A mattress was in the middle of the floor. Why? Because she had no more space in her bedroom. The piles were too high.

I was overwhelmed. I walked to the son’s bedroom, who’d moved out months ago, thinking it’d be easier. It wasn’t. His suits, his school notes, his collections were still crammed in every available space.

Jeff brought me a box and said, “Don’t think. Just fill.” (He knows my tendency to freeze up amongst clutter.)

Let It Go?

We asked Hope about donations. Could we bag up outgrown clothes and donate them to a thrift store or to Manna House?

Hope said no. She wasn’t opposed to giving them away (she had a big heart, I could tell), but she wanted it to be personal. She wanted to see the faces of recipients. Until then, she’d keep everything to herself, not risking their misuse from others.

I understand that. It’s hard for me to let go of my stuff, too.

  • What if I’ll want it later?
  • What if my kids might need it?
  • Or my yet unborn grandkids?

Until I picture a face of someone who needs it now.

See the Face

I imagine an Hispanic mother sifting through the grocery carts of clothes at Manna House. She picks up a jacket I put there. I can see a needy man asking for a shirt to wear to a new job. He gets one donated from Jeff’s closet. From the closets of homes across our city.

Jesus saw the faces.

So he poured himself, the Spirit of Logos, into flesh, into something that could be seen, felt, heard. And for 33 years he wore it well.

But then took it off.

Our Turn in His Flesh

He moved out of his flesh and into ours.

He’s willed his feet, his hands, his words to us to wear for him.

He sees our faces, imagines our future actions, purposes our giving in his name, even knowing we’ll misuse the gift or forget to use it altogether at times.

Now is our turn.

Because the Word is still flesh.

This flesh is to be worn well until it’s worn out.

Always Hope

Back at Hope’s, I finally gave up packing and just listened to her instead. She had a story behind every item she was hoarding and she needed someone to hear it. I kept her in the kitchen so Jeff could pack elsewhere without interruptions.

When we left a few hours later, I could see little difference. Yes, there were now more boxes taped and labeled, but there was so much more to go. It looked hopeless.

I later heard Hope got moved. She’d rented storage buildings to house her extras—Christmas decorations, coffee mugs, musical instruments, novels, boots. All in boxes. Not being used. Not being fleshed out.

The Word became flesh to be worn.

Put him on. Live him out. Wear him well.

Never lose hope.

* * *

How are you wearing his flesh this Christmas? Please share in the comments.

revised from the archives

30 thoughts on “The Word Became Flesh – He Still Does

  1. Michele Morin

    Oh, goodness, Lisa, I got discouraged just thinking about those piles of things, all needing to be packed up and moved.
    And I know the Word becomes flesh again in this present world because of people who, like you, put their hands and feet to work in ways that make the presence and the love of Jesus real. Thank you for sharing this story. The ways in which you inconvenience yourself for the Gospel are a continual challenge to me.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thankfully, I haven’t had to move many times in my life. 🙂 The enormity of it can be overwhelming. I wasn’t much help to Hope that day because of it. 🙁 I’m grateful for people who can walk into a mess and feel energized by it instead. I’m just not one of those people. lol

  2. Joanne Viola

    Lisa, you brought back memories of helping a young single mom organize to move and it was just as you have depicted. It was a most overwhelming task. Praying that we all become a display of Jesus not only in this season but in the new year as well! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Me, too, Dianne. It’s funny that it takes all of us together to wear the flesh that he wore perfectly in one body, and we still don’t get it right. So thankful for grace!

  3. Trudy

    I can imagine how overwhelmed you must have felt, Lisa. How kind of you to not only help her pack, but also to take time to listen to her stories. It’s sad though that she felt the need to hoard. To fill her emptiness maybe? I think we all try to fill that void with something, don’t we? Until we let Jesus fill it. I need that reminder again and again. I used to be a book hoarder until finally I felt – Why not let someone else enjoy them and learn from them? It was still hard though, and there are a couple of them I wish I had kept. 🙂 With you, I want to wear and live out the Word become flesh! Christmas blessings and hugs to you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ouch…you’re right, Trudy, that we all try to fill that hole with things other than Jesus. I have way too many books in my house right now. I did a purging a few years ago, but it didn’t make much of a dent. I’d like to get rid of more again, but it will be a lot of physical work as well as mental and emotional work. It’s a reminder to me that we all have to be gentle with each other because we all have our weak spots! Thanks for sharing your insights, Trudy. They always help me.

      1. Trudy

        I’m sorry, Lisa. I hope I didn’t say that wrong. I didn’t mean for it to make you say “Ouch…” I believe you showed your gentleness to Hope in how you took time to listen to her. It’s hard for me to see “clutter,” too. But yes, as you say, we all have our weak spots. I have so many… Your posts are always so thought-provoking, and your insights help me, too! 🙂 Bear hugs!

        1. LisaNotes Post author

          Oh no, Trudy. You didn’t say it wrong! I just know I have tons of spaces in my heart that need lots of work. There’s clutter in there. 🙂 And I also need more patience in dealing with other people’s clutter. We’re all a mess down here, but thankful for the grace of Jesus to clean us up! Love you, friend.

  4. floyd

    Love the perspective, Lisa. He stepped out of His flesh and into ours… that’ll make you think.

    I learned a long time ago that things don’t mean near as much as memories do. The best of what we have can’t he held by flesh.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I totally agree with you, Floyd. The best things can’t be bought! Sometimes (okay, oftentimes) I wish we’d do away with the gift-giving aspect of Christmas altogether and just enjoy time together.

  5. Lynn Severance

    A beautiful posting, Lisa.
    I am currently ‘downsizing’ and it is work for I stop amidst so much and linger in the wonderful memories. Yet there is legacy to be handed down (to some) and other that needs to be let go as I face this time in my life.

    Merry Christmas to you and family – may it be the best ever!!
    Love, Lynn

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Your words remind me of the author of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning. The title sounds a tad morbid, but I love her concept that while we clean out our clutter, we take time to remember the memories attached to the items. Sounds like you are doing that, Lynn. Blessings to you and may you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year as well!

  6. Stacey Pardoe

    I just love this illustration! I’ve been combing through boxes in the basement, so this truly struck a chord! May we learn to follow Christ in every area of our lives! Bless you this Christmas!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I have boxes and file cabinets that I need to be combing through as well. Sigh. But I know the things in there would not be useful to anyone. ha. Not even myself. 🙂 May you have a blessed Christmas too, Stacey!

  7. June

    Hope has an interesting excuse for not parting with her “stuff.” I pray that she is sincere and will, one day, be able to release much into the hands of others who need it. Your quiet admonition to be His hands and feet is a clear bell ringing through the Season. Thank you, friend!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I thought her reasoning was good, too. I often get hung up on that point as well: I want my stuff to go where it is needed. The flaw for me is that in my search for the perfect home for each item, I do what Hope did, and end up procrastinating and doing nothing with it. Just letting go isn’t as easy as it sounds. There’s always next year to get rid of my clutter, yes? 😉 Merry Christmas, June! Thank you for my beautiful e-card!

  8. Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours

    “Our turn in His flesh”… Such imagery and lots to think about there, Lisa. What a responsibility and gift we’ve been given to be the hands and feet of Christ to our neighbors. There’s so much need, I often feel I fall very short of doing my part. But I remind myself it’s not about how many needs I meet or how visibly I meet them but about obedience. I also remind myself opportunity is ALWAYS there; I just have to keep my eyes and heart open to see it.

    Your experience of helping Hope move brought back memories of a time I helped Juanita. She wasn’t as much of a hoarder as Hope, but the cluttered and scattered household needing to be packed up was unlike anything I’d ever experienced in my life. Like you, I was almost surprised to learn she actually got moved. HOW?!

    Merry Christmas, my friend. Exciting day ahead for you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know I fall short, too, Susan. The needs seem greater than our supply of time and/or energy and/or care. Thankfully the hands and feet are numerous around us, and the Lord continues to use us in another area even when we fall short in one area. You have been a wonderful example for me to get out there in the world and make a difference in whatever small way I can. Thank you and have a blessed Christmas yourself!

  9. Maree Dee

    Lisa, Great story. I had to laugh I too save things for future grandkids and none of my kids are even married. I do love to give and when I think about someone using it the giving gets easy. I still keep way too much.

    Most important I want to live out your words, “Put him on. Live him out. Wear him well.”

    Merry Christmas to You,

    Maree

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Books are the thing I have the hardest time getting rid of. 🙁 Granted, I do return to many of them again and again. But still I have far more than I need. Hope you have a blessed Christmas, Rebecca! (And I fixed the comment so it shows up as you.)

  10. Donna Reidland

    I can identify with so many aspects of your post. I moved my mom out of her home into ours at the beginning of the year. She isn’t a hoarder, but the need for everything she gave away to be personal was the same. Even personally, I’m constantly trying to downsize, but find it hard to get rid of some things because “I may need/want them later.” We tend to cling to the things of this world, don’t we! May we all be better at focusing on eternal things in the coming year!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I totally understand that desire to cling to things. 🙁 I had to clean out my closet yesterday to make room for some new clothes that I was given, and it was so hard figuring out what to get rid of. It’s never an easy process to let go. God bless you as you care for your mother in your home, Donna. Onward to 2018!

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