Recently, I had a very sobering experience.
A friend I worked with had acted in an uncharacteristic manner.
To clear the tension, I thought to speak with her about it both to express how I felt and to understand her viewpoint.
Two things sobered me up from the conversation; first off, she had assumed she was acting in my best interest.
Secondly, in the ‘grand scheme’ of the issues she had been dealing with, what I mentioned was not in the top 100 of the list.
In the middle of the discussion, she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said (paraphrased), ”Honestly, I am not in that space to even have acted in the way you think. I have gone through a lot – grief, heartbreak, a number of life changes and I am just putting up my best appearance”
That sank deep.
I asked that we pause the conversation as I looked at things from her perspective. I asked her to let me hug her. We hugged and finished up the conversation but it left me thinking hard about things she had said to me.
In the past one year plus, she had lost her dad, been betrayed by a fiancé and had a few other unpleasant experiences. She said, ”I just come smiling to work and give it my best but most times I go home feeling sad, waking up in the night crying about my dad in my sleep, feeling the pain of betrayal and I just am doing my best, really”
Isn’t that how so many people around us really are?
But, most times we don’t see it. We hardly see beneath the smiles and cheery hellos in the hallway. We don’t notice the pain in their eyes. She is such a lively person, he is so fun to be around with, the life of the party. And so we don’t see the fear from the terminal disease he is battling with, or the burden of debt, or the loneliness from the loss of someone dear, or even the deep need for God. We get so overwhelmed by how good their lives seem to be going, we are unable to see how deeply lonely they really are.
And then, when we least expect it, we hear of how someone dear was battling depression. Or, we move on to another phase of our lives and leave them same way we met them; sad, lonely, with a void that only God can fill.
Yet, God is love.
We wake up trusting God to show us one person to tell about him. And that’s amazing. That’s a precious thing.
Yet, God is love.
What if we take it up a notch and wake up asking God who we can show Him to?
Like, really show Him to, with our lifestyles, more than with our words
Who we can show the realness of His love; clearly seen through a kind word, a peaceful disposition, a never offended persona, a calm and quiet spirit, an aura of love…
“Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 TPT
This penetrates as I mull over it. For, it is so easy to assume we are putting our best foot forward. Afterall, we are the righteousness of God. Everything we do ultimately works in our favour. What if, instead of seeing how people’s actions or inactions affect us we decide to be everything that scripture says. We choose to live it, in secret and openly.
For, what use is it to pretend to be large and incredibly patient, but then in the company of our closest associates we talk down the errors of those we acted the patience out on.
Love… Love… Love…
How our world needs God.
How our world needs Love.
And the two are one and the same…
“We have come into an intimate experience with God’s love, and we trust in the love he has for us. God is love! Those who are living in love are living in God, and God lives through them.” 1 John 4:16 TPT
Can you team up with me today to love, wherever you are, even the unlovable? There really is no big deal about loving those who love us, is there?
To choose the path of love everywhere we find ourselves; in the mall, in our offices, in school, in church, with our children, with others’ children, with our spouses…. every where.
So that, like the lighthouse we become symbols of hope and security to those around us and our faith is shown, not only in all the activities we engage in that are synonymous with Christianity, but in how much people see the love of God in us even when we don’t say a word.
There’s no place too dark for God’s light to penetrate and no heart too difficult to be set aflame by His love.” Sammy Tippit