“If you want to become passionate for God, your thoughts must become consumed with His passion for you.” ….After God’s Own Heart, Mike Bickle
The river is always moving but the question is, will we get in and move with it?
It was eighth grade and I sat behind my red head friend named Wendy. She turned around with a pen in her hand and asked, “shall we connect the dots for our freckles?” Her humor for our freckles has stayed with me throughout my life. I hadn’t always felt comfortable with my freckles, but she made me feel accepted with her simple statement.
Wendy was a pretty smart girl in my class. I held my own as well, but still we were different. Wendy’s comment came back to me this afternoon because of a question I had. In sharing my question with a friend, I was able to understand an answer I’d already been given. I simply needed my friend to help me connect the dots.
As fun as that revelation was, my greater joy came from contemplating my freckles. I don’t look like anyone else. Every freckle I have is strategically different from any other. Still, I need my friends who help me connect the dots for how I am loved.
It’s been difficult the last couple days to help people by taking them where they don’t want to go. My mind’s logic challenges the wisdom of my heart. Tender mercies and compassion are my only weapons. I have no solutions of myself. As I listen to their stories my emotions are put to the test. They don’t need my tears. They have enough of their own. I hold them in check.
Driving away I look in my rear-view mirror to check my eyes. What do people see in these eyes when they’ve been talking to me? Do they see love? Do they see mercy? Do they see compassion? My eyes fill with tears. I am safe to let go of them now. These tears are special, meant just for my Father. He collects them from me.
I have looked into faces of desperation this week and looking back at me were people who have no voice. Homeless, crippled, addicted, wounded, poor and needy. Each of them are starving for hope and love, but also practical assistance. In all, there is an underlying sense of anger. The anger is often times aimed at specific people but the real target is injustice.
As I walk toward any of these muted ones, I find complete lack in myself. I don’t have enough money, enough resources, enough time, enough energy or even enough patience. What I do have is wisdom to draw all of these things directly from my heavenly Father. He alone is the provider.
Psa 82:3-4 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked
She asked me to sit down for a minute. With great love she was honest to speak to me in a language I would relate to. I couldn’t remember her exact words, but it was something along the lines of….”You’re freaking out!” I obediently stilled myself to let her pray for me. Every word spoke truth into the depths of my heart and soul. My spirit agreed that I should be calmed.
Prevailing heads. We need them when we are trying so hard to make sense of the things we can’t.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble
I stood under the pavilion in the deserted park, enjoying the early morning alone. As I looked up into its apex my eyes were drawn to the lower portions where I began to see nests. I walked the perimeter and guessed there to be about a dozen or more. Feeling both happy but wanting for more, I pulled my book out of my backpack to sit for a while.
Psalm 84:1-4 How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young-Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You.
“Gypsies, tramps and thieves…papa would do whatever he could, preach a little gospel…” * Only a song right?
When I sought the definition of gypsy I was shown “itinerant: a laborer who moves from place to place as demanded by employment”. I had never put it together before, but I was reminded of the migrant workers who seasonally came and went in the tiny town where I grew up. We called them “olive pickers”. Looking at our nation today, we have gypsies everywhere. Mostly these people groups are of foreign origin and not legally documented. They often follow the crops for harvests.
Tramps by definition were more diverse than my mindset really. Those who would take an excursion to such a degree they’d leave all, just to traverse the country. Of course there was the familiar; sexually promiscuous women often referred to as prostitutes, whether selling themselves or giving themselves freely to men. Anyone remember a name Mary?
Thieve was more black and white in understanding. They stole!
All are labels placed on people two thousand years ago and even today. Yesterday and today, Jesus paid for all.
1Ki 8:41 And don’t forget the foreigner who is not a member of your people Israel but has come from a far country because of your reputation.
Luk 8:2 There were also some women in their company who had been healed of various evil afflictions and illnesses: Mary, the one called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out;
Mat 27:38 Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
Luk 23:39-43 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Gypsies, tramps and thieves are the very one’s sought after by Christ. We see them everyday, so let’s love them like Jesus loved them. We don’t need to preach the gospel, we simply need to live the gospel and it will preach itself.
* Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves by Cher
In a day when I didn’t hesitate to do whatever I felt needed to be done, I gutted my brand new truck’s interior, stripping it down to the frame. I ripped out what I considered to be a “cheesy” stock stereo mount and proceeded to take a sawzall to my pristine dashboard. In deliberate action, I pulled out every 22 gauge wire I could find, replacing the entire wiring harness for the sound system. With crossovers, sub woofer and adequate sound dampening, finally the music resonated something close to what I sought.
At the end of this exhaustive endeavor I tested my system with a song loaded heavily for the low end of a bass. Mind you it was a hit song at the time. I can remember playing it repetitively and even falling asleep to it. Eventually this truck was broken into, robbed of every piece of equipment I’d so carefully equipped it with.
All these years later I can’t name the expensive equipment brands I’d installed, but I can still hear the song which played over and over that night…..”is there anything that I would not do, since I’d die without you”. I may have thought I was the one doing the rewiring, but essentially I myself was the one being rewired, even then.
In moving about my small metropolis yesterday, I found myself behind a car with a website advertisement relating to marshmallows. Not your common food group to rally behind but it made me smile in wonder for what it was about. By the time I got home however the thought was gone.
Later in the evening a woman spoke to me of a tenderness I have within “like a marshmallow”. Suddenly I am remembering every marshmallow I’ve ever roasted over campfires in the wilderness. I see the glob of them melted in a cup of hot cocoa. They bring to mind sweetness and moments of enjoyment. They have a pliable texture and are fun to hurl at people knowing you won’t really hurt them.
My husband enjoys marshmallows. I wonder if that’s part of the attraction he has seen in me? I am mentally adding a bag to my grocery list just to surprise him.