Monday, June 18, 2018

Who Do They See~

His words broke my heart.

Partly because I have been in his shoes,
but mostly,
mostly because I could only imagine
how this whole scenario
must have broken the heart of Jesus, Himself.

Mean people and Jesus followers -
together,
all mixed up,
professing to be one and the same.

A grown man,
he told the story of growing up in church.
How each week his Sunday School teacher
scolded him,
pointed out every wrong thing he was doing,
and told him
if he didn't straighten up,
he was going to Hell.

One day she added,
"What's wrong with you, boy?
Don't you want to be with Jesus?
Don't you want to go to Heaven?"

A mere six year old,
he lowered his face to the ground
and shook his head, "no".

The teacher was appalled.

"You don't want to go to Heaven?
How could you not want to go to Heaven?"

This young boy,
with all the innocence and honesty
his heart could muster into words,
looked up at this "woman of God" and replied,
"Well, you're going to be there, right?
I, uh well, I just don't want to be there.
I don't think I would like it there
with you and Jesus,
especially with no way to leave
or ever go home."

And, who could blame him
for coming to this conclusion,
for deciding if Jesus was anything like this woman,
he didn't want anything to do with Heaven,
or anything to do with Jesus?

Thankfully,
as a child,
most of the people who told me about Jesus,
not only talked about Him,
but walked out the beauty and love of Him
in their lives.

Sadly,
as an adult, however,
this hasn't always been the case.
Those professing to be Jesus followers,
those serving in His name,
those called into ministry,
have been some of the most un-Christlike people
I have known.

If they were the only view I had of Jesus,
if they were all that I glimpsed of His character and heart,
if they were who I thought Jesus was like,
just like this young boy,
I wouldn't want anything to do with
Jesus or Heaven, either.

Especially not forever and ever and ever and ever.

Mean people and Jesus followers -
together,
all mixed up,
professing to be one and the same.

And, I sit here thinking of me.

What is it that people see when they watch my life?

How is this Jesus I talk about
being conveyed to their hearts?

Am I truly showing them
the fullness of who He is?

Or, am I a deterrent?

Is the way I live my life
causing people to turn tail and run
as far away from God
as they can go?

Am I drawing others to God
or pushing them away?

Whether we like it or not,
whether we admit it or not,
whether we are even aware of it or not,
the salvation of others -
to a large extent -
depends on us
unwrapping this,
unpacking this,
digesting this,
pondering this,
remembering this,
and then,
living out the truth and beauty of who God is
in our day to day living
of our every day lives.

Who do others see
when they see me?

When they see you?

May it be Christ
and Christ alone.








Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Just Passing Through~

"You just weren't made for this world, Beautiful."

And,
each time my man would wipe my tears,
wrap his arms around me,
and say these words to me,
it always replaced some of the
awkward,
just-don't-fit-in,
feel-so-out-of-place feelings
with thoughts of
"I think you might be right, Handsome."

And,
almost as if he knew what I was thinking
he would add,
"You know I'm right.
None of us were  made for this world.
It's just some of us
have adapted to this world
a little easier and a little better
than others.
But you - no,
you definitely weren't made for this world."

He was the one who
always stayed up-to-date with world happenings,
was constantly in the know about this and about that,
was hip,
was in tune,
was connected.
Now, without my connecting to the world
by connecting to it
through him,
I really feel out of sorts.

Tonight, as I sat in the still of our living room,
I heard myself say out loud to God,
"I'm just not wise in the ways of the world, Lord.
I'm just not.
I just don't have any interest in the things
most people are so interested about.
I just don't."

And,
I was reminded of the words of my husband,
and as I was,
it was almost as if God came along
right behind the memory
and seconded the motion.

"It's OK, sweet girl.
To be wise in the ways of the world
isn't necessarily true wisdom.
To be investing your time and your energy
in what the world views as important
isn't necessarily a wise investment.
To be caught up in the opinions of others
and gaining the approval of man,
isn't necessarily the opinions or approval that matter.
To be rich in worldly possessions
isn't necessarily to be rich at all."

And, then
I remembered these precious words
God placed in front of me last week
as I was leaning in to hear
what He might want me to share
at an upcoming speaking engagement.

Thus says the Lord:
"Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the Lord,
exercising lovingkindness,
judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight," says the Lord.
~Jeremiah 9:23-24

"You know Me, sweet girl.
Each day as we walk together,
you are getting to know Me more.
This is what matters most.
Don't worry about the other.

Choose to know Me.

Make this your life pursuit.
Make this your ambition and passion.
Make this be what you
talk about,
write about,
study about,
invest in,
walk in,
live in.

And then,
share Me with everyone you meet
so they, too,
can choose to know Me."

"You just weren't made for this world, Beautiful."

No - no, I don't think I was.
And that is more than fine with me.