WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2
“In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?””
Nehemiah 2:1-3 ESV
REBUILDING: A PERSONAL BURDEN
Vandalism to a statue of Jesus at Christ the King Church in San Diego left the plaster Messiah without hands. Sam Lucero photographed the statue in 1986 and retold the story in 2013. Lucero writes: “Rather than repair the statue, Jesuit Fr. Robert Fambrini, pastor at the time, placed a sign at the base to reflect the mission of the people of God. “I have no hands but yours.” The sign was later replaced by a permanent plaque. Fr. Fambrini told me that he received offers to pay for the statue’s repair but he turned them down.”
These words recall the words of Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
Nehemiah had a burden for his nation that would eventually move him into action. He so desperately wanted to see them rebuild that : he left the most beautiful city in the known world to move to a city that had been in ruins for many years, he left the protection from the most powerful city to move to a city that was no longer powerful and distance didn’t make a difference. It was approximately 400 miles away.
We have a decision to make when we see hurt and destruction around us. We can simply complain and get angry or we can be moved to the point of action. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Cor. 12:27) What are some things in your life God has burdened your heart about? How can that burden be translated into rebuilding action?