Security Blankets and Jesus
by Sharon Betters
For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
I fingered the silky softness of the beautiful blanket and wondered what magical fabric could hold up to the marketing claim that babies wrapped in this blankie felt as though they were back in the security of the womb. We had just learned about the coming birth of a new grandchild so I plunked down more money than I ever expected to pay for a baby blanket, pretty sure the manufacturer's claim was bogus, but willing to take the risk that our coming grandbaby would crown this as her favorite possession.
Seven years later, I have to accept responsibility for putting a security blanket addiction into the hearts of six of our precious grandchildren. As I write, one of these blankets is on its way to an orphanage in India with hopes this piece of cloth will help communicate comfort and security to our soon to be adopted granddaughter.
Perhaps the most vivid picture of the comforting power of these blankets is the attachment of our three-year-old grandson to his original dark blue airplane blankie. I recently observed an unhappy Caleb grab his filthy, smelly companion. He slowly slipped its edge through his fingers until he found a tiny piece of silk to caress with his fingertips. His countenance relaxed and all was well with his world once more. To any normal observer, Caleb's bloodied (from frequent nosebleeds) and shredded source of comfort is disgusting and belongs in the trash. There is little left of the original silk. His mommy is fearful it will disintegrate with any more washing. Its original beauty is long gone and there is nothing attractive about it. Anyone who sees it will reject it as having any worth and will recoil at the thought of touching it. Anyone but Caleb, that is. A new blanket: $55. Snuggling with the tried and true blue airplane blankie: priceless.
Caleb's bloodied, ugly, and disgusting blankie reminds me of Isaiah's description of the Messiah. Isaiah describes Jesus' physical description as unattractive and repulsive. Yet like Caleb's addiction to his ugly blankie, those who know Jesus intimately hunger for His touch, and long for the security of His love. Caleb's attachment is rooted in his experience, not in his blankie’s appearance.
Those who love Jesus hunger for His touch for many reasons, but often because His touch heals the hurts, calms the restless heart and presses peace into our troubled souls. The more He travels with us, the more bloodied He becomes with our spiritual "nosebleeds", but those patches of reality make Him all the more attractive to us.
Those who do not know the love of Jesus do not understand the soul addiction of those who do. When a bully grabs our favorite toy, taunts us with the unfairness of life, when relationships break, a dream fails, a job is lost, a husband walks out, a child refuses to listen, even when restful quiet eludes us in the chaos of everyday life, those who have been wrapped up in the bloodied salvation of God's Son are desperate for the comfort and peace, the presence and promise Jesus brings. Our longing for His touch appears foolish to those who don't know Him. They are mystified by the "ahhh...." that slips from our lips when the strength of His Word relaxes our tense spiritual muscles. And yet, that "ahhh...." attracts their wounded souls and can stir up a similar desire to know our Jesus as well.
When I told Caleb's mommy that these blankets are no longer available she said she didn't think he would accept a replacement for his tried and true lifelong companion, no matter how shiny and clean it might be. We tried to give him a similar brown elephant blankie - no thank you. And so with Caleb's permission, I found a piece of dark blue fabric and hand sewed it over the original shredded silky cloth. Caleb gratefully accepted this improved version, and yet....somehow he found little remnants of the original fabric, to pinch and stroke for comfort. Only the original, the real deal meets his needs.
LIFE GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT
Someday Caleb won't have room in his hands for his special blankie. Baseball bats, basketballs, pencils, and books will replace the silky softness of this unique source of comfort and familiarity. But he will always need a perfect source of strength, comfort, and one day, grown up wisdom. So every day his mommy and daddy and those who love Caleb teach him about Jesus' love and how he can trust Him with his hurts and joys and need for security, comfort, forgiveness, redemption, and wisdom. How about you? What's your security blankie? I hope its Jesus.
Adapted from a post on Treasures of Encouragement, October 2012
Sharon W. Betters is author of Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness and co-author of Treasures of Faith. She is Director of Resource Development and co-founder of MARKINC.org, a non profit organization that offers help and hope to hurting people. Sharon enjoys quality time with her husband, children and fourteen grandchildren.
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