Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday in the Word.

photo title: "In Progress." They represent us...a work in progress. Some of us clothed and shiny...covering what's underneath. Others feeling naked and exposed. Either way, God has got you in the palm of His hand. You are HIS work in progress.
Isaiah 32:2
2 Each man will be like a shelter from the wind
and a refuge from the storm,
like streams of water in the desert
and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.
I watch quite a bit of christian programming. You know the ones...footage of starving children, children with no clean water to drink and no shoes. I watch those shows. And on occasion I send money. Not to all of them, just a few choice ones that I believe minister with integrity. Well, this morning I was watching one of my favorites and they feature Beth Moore (she has a blog!) every Wednesday morning. Today she shared this scripture. And it spoke to me...in a few ways.
First it spoke of God's shelter and refuge and LIFE He's provided for ME. Oh...if you only KNEW the depths of which He's been so good to me. Sometimes you just can't explain...you just don't have the words to describe God's goodness. Sometimes, you just have to KNOW it and BELIEVE it and RECEIVE it. You know?
Second, it confirmed for me what I believe God has been impressing on me over the last many months. And that is...to be a blessing to others. To get outside of my SELF and be there for others. Stop worrying so much what someone is doing for me...or saying to me...and bless someone ELSE. It's simple...
Smile at someone. Pat them on the back. Look them in the eye and ask how they are and then wait for the answer. Send someone a handwritten note in the mail. Tell a friend she looks pretty or that you notice how hard she's been working lately. Tell her she's a good mom or that you think she's funny.
Maybe it's the homeless woman you see walking around downtown at least once a week. You know the one, she looks a little worse for the wear (and that's putting it nicely) and when you pass by, although you get a pang in your heart your mind passes judgment instead? Yeah, her. Maybe next time you see her you could pull over, get out of the car, get that little bag of toiletries you set aside for her out of the trunk and walk right up to her, look her in the eyes, introduce yourself, hand her the bag and just talk with her a minute or two. Validate her existence...as a person and as a woman.
This reminds me of an experience I had a year or so ago. There is such a woman here in my town. She rides a motocross bike and wears all black, all the time. She hauls one of those bike trailers families use to haul little kids on bike trips. They're usually yellow. But hers, after much use and no shelter, is close to black, like the rest of her belongings. One day I was at the christian bookstore...the one I work at now, but at that time I was just a shopper. When I first got there I noticed she was there...looking at CD's. I walked past to get to the book area and although she was far away, I could smell her. A mixture of sweat and urine. It was offensive. And it was all I could focus on. But then all of a sudden I had this...pang. This...jolt...inside of me. And I knew what it meant. It meant that God was going to have me DO something for her. I didn't know what. But I knew that God was going to make me acknowledge her presence. And I have to be honest. I did not want to. And I especially did not want to go too near to her. I was so afraid He was going to make me hug her...I know this all sounds awful. But...it's the truth. It's how it went.
Well, I shop and shop and get what I had come in for. All the while she is on my mind. And I can't get her smell out of my nostrils. And I still don't know what it is God wants me to do. I get to the checkout counter and the young lady is tallying up my items when this pretty blue pocket bible catches my eye. And God tells me to buy it...for her.
So...relieved that I don't have to get too near to her, I gladly choose a bible to give to her. But...I decide to buy her the black one. Not because I think she likes black. But because I figure it would be the best one for her because it won't show dirt. I grab the little black bible, place it on the counter when I get another JOLT. And God clearly says, "I TOLD you to give her the BLUE one. She likes pretty things, too."
I was so convicted. I immediately put the black one back and replaced it with the pretty blue suede one. She was still shopping. So as I left the store I placed the bible on her dirty cart that was parked on the sidewalk out front and went to my car as fast as I could.
The moral of the story...I'm thinking that maybe God wanted her to be recognized as a woman. Not as a vagrant. Or a beggar. But as a person. And as a woman. As His child...who He loves just as much as He loves me. In His eyes, we are the same. Equal. And I am called to love her. To bless her...not avoid her. To pray for her...not judge her. To treat her like a sister...not an enemy. I'm no better than she is. But I sure am blessed. And it's my responsibility to pass that blessing along...in whatever ways I can. To be a shelter...a refuge...water for the thirsty.
God, I pray you help me to see people through Your eyes. Help me to be a blessing...an encourager...a light in this darkness. Amen.

2 comments:

Michelle said...

A friend of mine used to say that he was brave enough to dance with God but not always brave enough to let God lead. :)

Rhea said...

I appreciate very much your testimony and what you said at the beginning to not be so into myself to make it a point to think of others. That is my commitment recently and it is working! I am a horrible horrible person but with the Lord guiding me I am clean. My slate cleared.