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Today's PAYG was centred on the account in Luke's gospel where Jesus heals the withered arm of a man present in a synagogue on a sabbath (Luke 6:6 - 11).  The person guiding the reflection noted that at the point the story begins Jesus had already antagonised the powerful religious in some way, so much so that they were out to get him.  Was it something he had said or done?  So they were eagerly looking for any teeny weeny transgression in order to pounce.  Jesus could simply have walked away, past the man with the withered hand, and said nothing.  He could have settled for a quiet life rather than risk antagonising, or being antagonised by, others.

This really spoke to me - with my loathing of confrontation and fear of offending blended with a sometimes too short fuse when I am annoyed or irritated by something or someone.  Sometimes, of course, discretion is the better part of valour.  Sometimes standing up and being counted is important.  Jesus was no people pleaser, confrontation clearly didn't faze him, and he could be quite sharply spoken on occasion... above all he was true to himself.

This morning I woke still turning over stuff from yesterday in my mind, still all too aware of my clay feet, but in this reading and reflection, it seemed that God reached out to me, reassured me, and said 'it's all alright.'

Way back when, as I began the path to ordained ministry, I confided in a friend that my biggest fear was that something I said or didn't say, did or didn't do, would drive someone away from Jesus, from God.  Perhaps fear is an unhelpful word, perhaps 'concern' would be better.  And maybe I somehow accord too much import to my words and actions in influencing other people negatively.  I think I have been reminded that WWJD is be true to himself, to confront, to subvert, to ignore, to challenge... and that what I have to do is be true to who God has made me to be, which may sometimes include doing or being the things I find uncomfortable...

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