The rattle of the security chain behind the door told me a lot about the person behind it before I saw them. The door opened a crack and two eyes warily peered through looking at me.
Who do you let into your world?
I learnt a new term this week from the good people at Like Minds Like Mine in their newsletter.
Nimbyism is a term that applies to views based on unjustified fear, as opposed to facts. Nimby is an acronym for ‘Not In My Backyard’ and refers to the discrimination against people that experience mental illness in relation to finding a place to live.
It got me thinking about who I let into my private world and who expects to be part of my private world without my permission?
I was really surprised years ago when I started worked in Mental Health when one of the people I was supporting just opened up and told me some of her most private health issues.
She was a wide open door. She had been asked questions by so many health professionals and others, over the years, that she really had no private world any more. Every one knew and every one shared.
How would you like that!
Them and Us. There are ‘Them’ that are on the outside of ‘Us’.
The ‘Us’ hold the power. They have the money power, the knowledge power, the word power ( the ability to form a powerful argument), and the decision making power where decisions are made without taking the persons opinion into consultation.
This is disempowering abuse and it has to stop.
In thinking about Jesus and the people in his world, there were, and still are, four types of people.
1. The Spectators – these were the people who watched him. Comfortable at a distance, enjoying the show while it was entertaining to them. ‘Heal me, do what I need, meet my self – centred needs’. This relationship is all about ‘me’ rather than ‘we’.
2. The Supporters – these were the people that walked with him. They got out of the grandstand and walked with him, town to town, dust under the toe nails. They knew Jesus, still a little unsure about him, but they followed. Its ‘we’ but still with a security chain across the door.
3. The Select – these were the people that wrestled with what Jesus was all about. They allowed the teaching of Jesus to truly play havoc with their private worlds. The 12 disciples were amongst them, so were Mary and other women probably not mentioned. They were the select. The Door was open and they welcomed him in.
4. The Sufferers –these few wept with Jesus. They were with him in the toughest of times. They were soul partners, they bore in themselves the very pain and joy of what Jesus was going through. The truest of friends need not words, they just know. There was no ‘me’ it was totally ‘we’.
All were spectators and observed, but it was the degree to which they were willing to suffer alongside Jesus, to leave their nets, to give up all, to experience complete vulnerability themselves.Reality check for us.
There is just not enough room on your chest or theirs to accommodate the whole world.
Some of those who want to be bosom buddies with you may well be wolves dressed as lambs. Be careful who you let near your heart for they may well rip a fatal chunk out of it.
We no longer live in Eden. We no longer have a safe garden where all relationships are pure, intimate and safe.
There is a God given, inbuilt desire, for deep intimate relationship within in everyone. Yes its there, deny it if you like, but it is there.
Relational intimacy is a gift learnt through experiences of risk, reaction and repair. We take a risk and share what’s truly on our heart. We get a reaction either positive or negative, and then we if want to develop this relationship to a deeper place there is a repair. A mutuality is discovered where ‘I’ is now ‘We’.
- Who do you let into your World?
- Why are relationships risky?
- What sort of relationship do you have with Jesus?
Image: Home Depot
 Lee Bernard J., Cowan Michael A. Gathered and sent: the mission of small church communities today. (New York: Paulist Press, 2003, 12.)