DayBreaks for 4/30/14 – The Moment of Recognition
In the Greek myth The Odyssey we read the epic of Odysseus. Odysseus was the mighty warrior who fought in the Trojan War, but according to legend, his journey home after that war was interrupted for many years as the gods had decided to test his true mettle through a series of trials. His journeys carried him far and wide as he encountered mythic beasts and lands, many of which have passed into common parlance: the Cyclops, the Procrustean bed, Scylla and Charybdis, the sirens’ voices.
Meanwhile, back at his home, Odysseus’ wife and family presume he must have died en route back from Troy. Finally, however, the gods released Odysseus and he arrives home. Instead of simply walking through the front door and crying out the Greek equivalent of, “Honey, I’m home!” Odysseus decides he wants to determine if anything has changed during his absence. Did his wife still love him? Had she been faithful? In order to find out, Odysseus disguises himself so he looks like a stranger needing temporary lodging.
The housekeeper, Euryclea, welcomes the apparent traveler and performs for him the then-standard practice of foot-washing. As she does so, Euryclea regales the stranger with stories about her long-lost master, Odysseus, whom she had also served as a nurse when he was young. She tells the traveler about how long her master has been gone and she noted that by then Odysseus would be about the same age and build as the man whose feet she was washing. When Odysseus had been a young boy, he was once gored by a wild boar, leaving a nasty scar on his leg. As Euryclea went about washing his feet, suddenly her hand brushed against that old scar and instantly her eyes were opened and she recognized, with great joy, her beloved friend and master!
Recognition scenes like that have long exercised a strong effect on our hearts. Sometimes it is used for comedic effect, as in many episodes of the old I Love Lucy show when Lucy would disguise herself so as to worm her way into one of her husband, Rickie’s, shows. Jesus seems to have engaged in a similar recognition scene when he walked the road to Emmaus and met Mary in the garden after the resurrection.
The moment of recognition is sheer delight. We shall be seen by Him, and we shall know Him – and He will know us! The anticipation is almost too much to bear as we await that moment.
PRAYER: Thank you, Jesus, for knowing us and claiming us as your very own! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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