Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's All About Love . . . Notes from Women's Retreat

Hi Friends,

Well, I'm back from speaking at the SVCC Women's Retreat this past weekend. What a fun, enriching time! My favorite parts were watching women interact and grow deeper through the activities we did for each talk. What a great group of women! Thanks so much to all of you who had been praying for me (I'm happy to report that I did fine, despite being so pregnant!) and for the time at retreat. God was there and moving in lives and hearts. It was sooo neat to see and be a part of all that.

Some main points:
-- You can't unwrap the wonder of God with white-knuckled fists clutching your own dreams and plans.
-- The God who made the stars to sing also let the wild donkey go free . . . Our God is both grand and intimate.
-- That grand and intimate God is the One who loves you enough to give everything for you, to make you His own. God's main focus for everything that happens in your life is to draw you closer to Him.

For part of the third point, I told the following story from Mark 5. I thought I'd include it here for all you wonderful blog readers:

(MARK 5:25)

Once upon a time, there was a woman who was having that time of month. Except for her, it didn’t stop after a week, or two weeks, a month, a year. She’d been bleeding for twelve long years. And where she lived, that bleeding wasn’t only unpleasant and exhausting, it made her dirty, untouchable. She used to have friends, but they’re all married now, with children. She has no husband, no kids. Others have a nice home, family. She’s spent all her money on doctors and treatments that didn’t help. Everything she once hoped for seems impossible now. And she’s so tired from the loss of blood, the loss of hope, the loss of everything.

But then, something happens. She hears about a man who can heal with a touch. It seems crazy. But maybe, just maybe . . . there’s a commotion on the street. A crowd. A name. Jesus. The one from Nazareth. He’s the one she heard about! She sneaks out the door, follows behind the crowd. Far enough back so she won’t touch anyone, won’t make them unclean too.

But she’s got to get to the one called Jesus. Maybe he won’t touch someone dirty like her. But maybe she can touch him. Just a little, on the edge of his cloak. Maybe that’s all it would take. She winds through the crowd, inching forward. Bit by bit. There he is! Closer. Closer. All she wants in the world is to be healed. For the bleeding to stop. For life to have some hope again. If only she could be healed.

She reaches out. Her fingers brush the edge of his cloak. And… it happens. She feels it, senses it, in every part of her. The bleeding stops. The anemia is gone. She’s whole, healthy, clean. She sinks back into the crowd. She has everything she wanted.

But wait.

Jesus stops. Turns. Seeks her out. He looks at her, talks to her, calls her “daughter.”

Why? She already has everything she came for. She’s healed.

--For her, healing is enough.
--But for him, he wants more.

Because for her, and for you, FIXING you isn’t enough. God wants relationship. Connection, interaction…that’s love.

That’s what’s valuable to God (when we see Jesus, we see God … whoever has seen me has seen the Father.)

That’s the lens through which we need to see everything in our lives. What happens in your life isn’t about getting you to do the right thing, choose the right path, get your problems fixed. It’s about God and relationship. It’s about Him wanting to be close to you because He loves you.


Caleb's Momma said...

Wish I was there... some really good insights into the word Marlo. Hmm... are there CDs available of your talks? Would love one!

Marlo Schalesky said...

Thanks! I know the talks were videoed. I'll look into what I can get as far as DVD's & CD's go.