I see things. Now, it’s not dead people like the little boy in that movie years ago, but it’s things of the heart that cause me to pause. And before you scold me for not searching my own heart, let me explain how this does include me.
When someone moves through a crowd to love on another person in church, when he or she hugs, or cries, or laughs or prays; is it for the glory of the Lord or is it to be known or seen? Or is it bigger than the action, a deeper longing of the person and not realized by many or anyone?
Confused yet? Wondering what I’m talking about? Ready to stop reading?
Let me take you to a church service or two, and introduce you to a few people and then I’ll see if you see them or know them, or if you are them.
There’s this woman. She serves and attends, and she has the ability to lead, to stand out, and she’s an outgoing person. She is loved by many of the homeless who also attend the church service. But she is loud. She is intent. She is way too organized. Way to pushy. Way to aggressive. Way to noticed. At least, in my opinion, which by the way means nothing.
And then this happened at a service: A man moved to a seat. He lingered before plopping down, and wiped tears from his face. Now the woman saw him. She inched between others, almost in a race to be the first to sit with the young man. As the preaching unfolded, she wrapped her arms around the boy and held his shoulder with a grasp of concern.
And then this happened: A lady who shook with fever collapsed to the ground, ill, and sick with a virus or the flu. She curled up with her knees close to her chest. She held her head with one hand, shaking in quivering jerks.
And then this happened: A fist hit the man who never saw the blow. It seems the one with the jab, who slammed the face of the other man, he thought the guy was too close to his girl. So he took care the situation, overreacting, and seeing something that wasn’t true.
Now all of the above incidents happened in front of my eyes at a church service for the homeless. I saw it unfold. I saw the man slink to his seat. I saw the lady quiver with fever. I was there when the slug to my friend’s face was caused by someone else I call a friend, too.
And the woman who is bold, who leads well, who is a take charge kind of person; she is the one who held the shy boy, who covered the lady with a blanket who shook on the ground, who who held the man bleeding from the slam to his face.
Yes! She loved. She showed mercy. She moved into action. And I did not. I didn’t sit with the new boy. I didn’t love on the lady on the ground. And I didn’t run to the assistance of the wounded.
So as I watch and listen and assess the motives of another, I discover my own flaws and they are highlighted brighter than if I’d used ten yellow markers. I’m reminded that I’m not the judge of anyone’s heart, regardless of how it may look or what I think I know or don’t know. Even if it’s true, I’m filled with negative-compassion or I wouldn’t even care what he or she does.
And here’s the part that I absolutely must remember. God knows the heart, and he can use anyone for His glory in spite of our motives, those imagined or real. I also need to stop comparing my walk with another, and I must ask Christ for forgiveness when I turn “loving others” in His name into a competition.
Now I don’t know if you see yourself in any part of the above, and I don’t know if you struggle with motives, with comparisons, or with loving others. But my prayer is that you, me, that we live the abundant life for Christ, ready to move, to sit, to cover, to help, to assist, to share the gospel with the lost.
Thus, this entire blog post points to my own comparing, and sends me to my knees repenting. My prayer is that I improve on doing this: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” ~~ Philippians 4:8
And if we see someone who needs loving kindness, may we take action without thinking, or assessing, or wondering, or questioning. May we move in obedience to Christ! I pray to make Christ known since I know Him! Because sometimes the things I see are not the things God sees!