Short Thought continued.....

Startled

 

As my friend and I sat sharing life, I spoke of something that 

   I noticed in my Mum as she reached the end-stage to her life.  

I would enter her room and sense the peace and calm.

She would be sleeping sitting in her comfy chair and I would enter,

sit beside her and pray for her silently until her eyes opened.

She would greet me and then a startled look would cross her face:

“Is there something I should be doing?”  “No, Mum,”  I would reassure her,

and she would visibly relax into her seat and

a restful smile would cross her face, her eyes closing again.

Her startle was born of surrender, of resting, of dying.

 

My friend reminded me that there is another stage of life, where we are startled.

A new-born child, who suddenly notices their arm coming across their vision, will visibly startle.  

In time, they come to realise that the object - their arm - is connected and belongs to them - 

but in that moment it is new, unexpected.

Theirs is a startle of discovery, of growing, of life.

 

‘Startle’ appears twice in the New Testament:

the Greek words translated there mean troubled, agitated (‘tarasso’ ) and terrified’ (‘ptoeō’).

 

“...{Zechariah] was startled and was gripped with fear.”  (Luke 1:12 NIV)

Zechariah, an elderly priest, is startled by an angel who tells him that his ageing wife

will give birth to a son, to be called John.  (John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus).

 

When the resurrected Jesus appears to his disciples,

 “they were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.”  (Luke 24:37)

However, Jesus reveals that he has risen bodily from the dead,

in order to fulfil what the scriptures say about the Messiah.

Theirs are startles of fear, preceding revelation and the miraculous.

 

We experience being startled throughout our lives in response to the unexpected.

However God may startle us to herald in a revelation or the miraculous.

 

Thought: When you are next startled, ask God what’s important for you to know.

Is it a startle of surrender, discovery or revelation?

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