Truthfully, I've had a beautiful but bittersweet week and today I could feel myself sinking.
Do you ever have those days where you pray that God would just "take" you? Do you ever have the days when you get tired of the fighting and the routine...when you wait and wait for change but change doesn't seem to come fast or quick enough?
Today was one of the days when I felt myself desperately wanting to find a remote village in some cozy nook of the world and just lay there. Maybe a mountainous area or a cave along a beach somewhere...
Today I wondered if God would just let me slink into Heaven...maybe go unnoticed...I wondered if maybe I could do just enough to "get by."
I was sitting at Starbucks and I looked across at all of the smiling people in groups. I saw a girl wearing a Jesus shirt. It was an obvious Christian message. I waited for her to walk over to my table, seening that I was alone, but she never came.
I saw a woman come up and it looked like she had pamphets in her hands. Something about them made me think that they were Christian pamphlets...
As I looked around at all the Jesus paraphanelia, I became slightly ...and only very mildly, irritated and annoyed.
I kept thinking about how, as a culture, we try to shove Jesus on t-shirts and in cute little pamphlets, but the truth is that today...I was desperate for someone to show me Jesus.
I don't know why...Jesus has revealed Himself to me dozens and dozens of times...but today I wanted to see Him in someone else.
I noted how Jesus is the hand that lovingly leads, the words that soothe, the arms that wrap in the gentle embrace, ...He is the one who doesn't promote Himself on t-shirts or flaunt Himself on paper..He is the one who would've walked up to my table and sat with me today.
All too often it seems that there is an infux of criticm in this world. People whose words hurt more than they realize. People often mask their opinions as being helpful, but when you don't really detect any love in the words, it comes across as rude and mean. People will tell you how to raise your children..people will continaully tell you every hundred things that you do wrong..people will tell you how unhappy they are with your decisions...people will tell you what church they think you should attend, or what your life should look like.. but the truth is that sometimes..all we want to see is Christ. Sometimes, we simply want to feel accepted and loved for who we are and where we are in this life.
I know that Christ doesn't agree with bad behavior, but its another thing to judge and critize and pretend that you have done something good. Petty opinions are hurtful and should sometimes be abandoned altogether.
As I was sitting there almost in tears, a man that I associate with my old high school came up and spoke to me. He had just arrived and invited me to sit at his table.
He was there with his son. We started talking about things. We talked about the his days living out of state and how he loved diversity and culture. We talked about how there was too much racism in the world... ..
Try explaining to God that an entire race of people are "illegal?" I noted that there probably wouldn't be any racist people in Heaven...
We talked about church and we talked about God. He said that he quit his old church because people judged him by his appearance and some in the church wouldn't even shake his hand. I told him that God sees His heart and that how beautiful his heart really was.
I loved how he told me about his beautiful girl and gloated and beamed when he talked about his wife.
I loved how I could see him the way that Jesus sees him.
He asked me what church I attended and I told him, but I said that I saw a lot wrong with churches today. But I told him that I love people. I love people so much. People of all races and people that attend all sorts or churches. I told him how in the days before church, people used to do something radical. They would go into each others homes and worship and love on people, and work together. I said that I liked the idea of the body of Christ reaching out and finding the lost rather than the lost having to find a brick and mortar building to attend.
I said I would love to see things like that again. All in all, it was a beautiful conversation and I am so grateful that I got to have it with such amazing and wonderful people.
Last week I kept hearing a verse over and over.. God put it on my heart to remind me that I am free.
"For you have been called to live in Freedom, brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. "
Freedom. That word has been echoing in my heart and mind for the past week. The enemy doesn't want us free. The enemy wants us wounded..too busy licking and nursing our wounds that we forget to serve the hurting around us... that we forget that there are lonely people who need to see Christ.
What lies is the enemy telling you?
What is God telling you?
The enemy tells me that I will be silent. That I will fall into depression and fail to speak
God says that I have a voice.. To use it..to sing..to be the song...to say the words that could mean life or death to the hurting...
The enemy tells me that things will never change..
God reminds me of how far He has taken me and bids me to be the change...Shine the light..go forth..spread the wings..
The enemy tells me I am trapped and tethered.
God tells me that I am FREE.
The enemy tells me that few care.
God tells me it's a lie..and then He sends two people who intive me to their table.
The enemy tells me that my body is weak.
God tells me that He has a work for me to do.
The enemy tells me that I am a horrible mother, terrible daughter and wife...terrible everything...
God tells me to press on in love.. He accepts me for who I am and He loves me regardless of how other perceive me.
Next time I see you around friends, you are always welcome at my table.