Oh, Abba… Sometimes You answer my prayers so quickly, You take my breath away! How is it, then, that I can so totally miss The Answer… even when it is staring me right in the face?
This morning, our time together was sweet. I can’t even totally reconstruct how my “heart talk” with You went. Sometimes, there is just a sense of being and knowing that what passes between us is real and deep and beautiful. I do remember one thing. I remember asking You to help my heart beat as Yours does. I asked You to break my heart with whatever breaks Your heart.
My prayer was genuine, not lip service. You answered me just hours later… and I totally missed it.
I was coming out of a restaurant where I had enjoyed a wonderful lunch with my Sistas. Some of us were talking as we entered the parking lot, about to go our separate ways. An elderly man on a bicycle approached, asking in an oh-so-quiet voice if I had any spare change. Oh, Lord… what I did next must have grieved Your heart.
I ignored him. I looked past him as if he were not there. I left without even acknowledging him… as if he was invisible.
You didn’t waste any time coming to me on my way home, in that precious way that You do. Lifting up that invisible mirror to my face so I can see myself through Your eyes. You are never condemning when You do this; for that, I am so grateful.
“… there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
But there was no mistaking Your heart… and it was Your heart, after all, that I had been seeking just this morning.
Suddenly, I saw myself in the midst of a crowd that had almost “crushed” You — the crowd where that woman who had been bleeding for twelve years reached out to touch Your cloak (Luke 8:40-48). She didn’t want to bother You. All she wanted was to touch Your cloak and be healed. So she did. And she was. And You called her out of the crowd… and blessed her publicly.
In the next instant, I saw You in the restaurant parking lot. The very lot where I had stood today. Except this time, it was only You and that elderly man. I watched to see what You would do. You didn’t ignore him. You didn’t look past him as if he were not there. You didn’t leave without even acknowledging him. He was not invisible to You. You saw his deepest need and You loved him, on the spot… changing him forever.
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…” (Matthew 6:12a)
In Your merciful kindness, You knew the next thing I needed to “see.” Myself as the elderly man. Myself on a bicycle in that very parking lot, asking in an oh-so-quiet voice if someone had some spare change for me. Suddenly, I wanted the whole scenario to “play out” totally differently.
“… do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)
No, Lord… not contempt. Only deep gratitude that: You love me enough to meet me where I am, and You love me enough to not leave me here. You love me enough to tell me the truth in a way that “breaks” me without crushing me. You love me enough to never leave me or forsake me. You love me enough to bring out Your best in me… one lesson, one gift — even one failure — at a time.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Grateful for Your loving correction,