“Kayla, what BOTHERED you?”

Now that’s a question I don’t often hear the morning after an intercession set in the Prayer Room.

Well, it’s not the type of question I get asked often, and rarely do I ask it of myself.

So what bothered me?

Well, I think we need to start answering that a little more often.

Because what bothers us is the voice of our hearts. 

My first memory of something annoying me that didn’t seem to annoy anyone else was in the University of the Nations Preschool playground. “The boys” had this incredibly exasperating game of chasing us “girls” all around the grassy field. I remember one day just rolling my eyes when I realized if you stopped running, they wouldn’t bother you anymore. (This comes from a four-year-old with three older brothers and wasn’t impressed by four-year-old boy taunts… as well as a girl clueless to the greater story that she was made to be pursued. Well, maybe I did know I was made to be chased- and knew deeply it wasn’t by them).

So what bothered little blonde-bob, freckle-speckled Kayla Norris? That those girls kept running despite the very obvious fact that if you stopped running you could continue playing in the playhouse in peace. 

Fast-forward a handful of years and Kayla Norris excitingly grew into her name defined by “joy” yet thought that somehow joy meant never admitting when something frustrated her. Joy certainly means admitting complaints a whole lot less. Yet does joy mean you ignore your emotions?

If you are living with a beating heart of flesh, in a world where the kingdom is still yet to come, you’re gonna be annoyed. The gallant, beautiful hearts Jesus fought for will be pricked by the evil warring around us. That was a bit of a shock for peace-maker Kayla Norris to take in.

“What makes you cry you were made to heal, and what makes you angry you were made to change, my lovely schoolmate Anna Roughton quoted in her workshop at the end of this year. I heard it secondhand at a wooden octagon table in the BTI courtyard and for once it all made sense… 

What made Jesus angry? I think of white-washed tombs, I think of money-changers in the temple grounds, I think of unbelief. If Jesus was allowed to get bothered, surely we are, too. I say this as someone so remarkably cruisey that my associate teacher earlier this year told me that I actually needed to get mad at the kids. His point was that they needed to know what I stood for. So did I. Jesus stood for genuine hearts, a full focus on the presence of his father, and faith-filled trust in his character and he brought that change.

So, what did four year old Kayla stand for? Unknowingly, in showing my frustration I also revealed a heart that didn’t want boys to mistreat girls, and for girls to realize that there really are better guys out there worth the wait, and peace in the preschool playground.

For now, I will close.

What bothered me in the Prayer Room the other day? Without going into detail, I realized I was frustrated that I was praying for healing in exclusively the body when healing of the heart is remarkably intertwined with our health. I know this when I remember how sick I was last year compared to the growing strength this year. But simply? I realized I care about the heart, too. 

With Jesus, what makes you angry, you are destined to change. You, my reader, were made to transform communities and you were made to change companies and you were made to be that one preschooler who decides to make a stand for what is important while everyone seems to running around like starved chickens chasing a gecko (I have actually seen that!). Our difference compared to a humanist perspective, then, is in ownershipInstead of viewing what makes you angry as someone else’s responsibility, start to see it as your assignment from heaven to change. 

Jesus’ perspective sure makes a load of difference for me.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

-Luke 4:18-19 (ESV)

“Kayla, what BOTHERED you?”

… Jesus, I hope this answered your question. 😉

And he answers now,

“More than enough,” with a wink, too.

Oh, you!

(We are loved).

Photos: Baxendine Paddock, Matamata, New Zealand. November 2013.