“Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee…” (Luke 8:39a)
There is wisdom in retreat. Not in like, running away from the enemy, but in rest. God says in Isaiah (30:15), “In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength”. Retiring to a place, be it home, a coffeeshop. A favorite camping (literal, figurative) spot. Any place at all you feel alone with God so you can soak in His presence and peace and love. It’s very important one recharges their batteries in this world. You know how it’s done. I find it interesting, at least in the King James rendition of the top verse, how Jesus would tell the man to go back to his house–which could connote “people” or “family”–to which the man decides instead to, well, here:
“…and he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.” (Luke 8:39b)
I find that once one is away from a familiar situation, it gives rise to all sorts of new possibilities in interaction. You find yourself unencumbered by the atmosphere in which you wade day in, day out. And the moments that follow are infused with wonder and excitement and adventure. Kind of like a vacation. Come to think of it, unless you’re moving out of the area (which I haven’t done in a very long time) a vacation is about the only auspices under which the aforementioned feeling can happen. And this is what distal means: “away from the center of the body”. Or in the case of a specific part, away from the point of connection. Evidently, the man out of whom Jesus cast the legion of devils hadn’t been home in a long time. Honestly, it’s one of the more endearing stories for me because of the contrast. Here (here) you have a man that no one wants anything to do with because of an admittedly serious spiritual sickness. He then turns from that, at one touch of the Lord, into a sweetheart. Praise God. And so he goes home.
What’s the situation?
“Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into Heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10)
In Japanese, the words “kore”, “sore” and “are” (each has two syllables) refer to placement. The first is essentially “this”. Meaning the item in question. The second is “that”, pretty self-explanatory. And the third refers to objects out of reach, if far away. Most times, you’ll see them qualified with either “wa” or “ga” as particles (kore wa–“this thing here”). The former indicating that the object in question has already been referred to in conversation. The latter meaning it hasn’t, an as-yet unknown thing. The point I’m getting at is that wherever you may find yourself. Situated away from the Body–i.e. not attending a church–ostracized for God knows why (but never a good reason). Or maybe included in the festivities that seem a little shallow for your tastes. Even a thousand other locations from here to Japan, God is with you. He might feel distant but I can guarantee you it’s not because of Him and it’s most likely not because of you. Think of how the strength and love of Jesus enabled the man to stay where he was. The change was so remarkable that, rather than tag along and accompany Him to wherever He went, he was inspired to remain.