So, in the fifth season of Haven, Audrey Parker’s body has been hijacked by Mara (it’s sci-fi/fantasy…you just gotta roll with it!) and Mara is a horrible person. She wants to hurt people. She’s full of hate and bitterness—nothing like the sweet, caring Audrey who only wants to help others. At first, Audrey’s friends are convinced she is gone. But Nathan (the love of her life), believes she’s still there. He’s not willing to give up on her, and eventually, he discovers that not only is she still there, inside Mara, but that the way to get Audrey back is not to deal with Mara, but to speak to Audrey. It takes some work for Nathan to convince the rest to stop responding to Mara’s taunting. It takes restraint for them to ignore the ugliness of Mara and treat her, sincerely, as if she really is Audrey…especially when they can see no signs of Audrey. But eventually, with some patience, they call out to Audrey and Audrey shows herself. She conquers Mara, at least for a little while. The key, however, is in the way her friends treat her—speaking to who they know she can be, rather than who she appears to be.
As I watched I couldn’t help but think that this is what God does for us. He’s like Nathan. He loves us. CRAZY loves us. But He also knows that we have been hijacked by an enemy. Where we should be people who reflect His nature, sinfulness, bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, hate, manipulation… all these things and more… characterize us instead. So much so, in fact, that often others can’t see at all who we REALLY are. In some cases, it’s so bad that others don’t believe there’s a good person inside us at all. But God knows that buried deep inside is still the seed of who He created us to be and in order to bring it to the surface, He speaks to that seed. He does what Nathan did—He doesn’t deal with our sinful, ugly self, but instead speaks to our future self, the creature He sees us becoming. Not only that, but He calls others to do the same. Stop treating her as Mara, instead, treat her as Audrey; He begs His friends and followers.
You can see this throughout scripture. It’s what He’s doing when He gives people a new name. Names meant something and He is ever saying I know everyone calls you this, but to me, you are THIS! And when He gives us a new name, it’s always a name which speaks to the good in us. I heard Graham Cooke once say that He doesn’t work on our sin—He died for it; paid for it. Rather than working on our sin, He is working on making us more like Him, which means working on our love, our righteousness, our joy… on whatever part of Him we are lacking. He’s not working on our negatives, rather, He’s working on His positives in us. When everyone else sees nothing but a Mara, He is treating us Audrey, calling out to Audrey, waiting for her to show herself, knowing that she is there and that the only way to bring her to the surface is to speak to her.
So, the challenge is two-fold: 1. When everyone else is dealing with you as if you are Mara, can you hear God speaking to Audrey in you? 2. When dealing with others, how can we start partnering with God to bring forth the Audrey’s out of the Mara’s? Do you only see the negatives, or can you see, have faith for and speak to the positives in others?