September 11, 2009

Exposed Lie...In my FACE...

Tuesday was our first official day of 'sitting down to learn'.
We always do something fun to start the year off and this year it was heading to our newly remodeled library that's been closed for over a month...
What I didn't find out until we stepped up to the desk was that my library card was expired...something we never had back in NY. That meant that the fines HAD to be paid in order to get out any books. Of course, they don't use the means of commerce I normally carry around-my debit/credit card. That meant we had to walk to the bank, a little jog from there.
Remember the Wordless Wednesday picture, well...
On our way, for the first time, we encountered a homeless man actually digging in the huge garbage can next to the bus stop. That was very disheartening, but later on, when I gave thought to the moment, what was most disturbing about it was the people watching. Actually, there were people on our side of the street with jaws hanging open and a woman staring from a bench, while no one, including us, did anything to help this man. Yes, I prayed right there for him, but why didn't we go to the fast food restaurant right there and buy him a sandwich?
"Then they will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a
stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?' And he will
answer, 'I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers
and sisters, you were refusing to help me.' And they will go away into
eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life." Matthew
25:44-46 (NLT)
Daily, there are these two particular individuals-a young guy and a very disheveled girl, in their early twenties, that beg on the corner near that same corner. I see them EVERY SINGLE TIME I drive by there. One walks with a 'limp', which I wondered if he really had one. I've notice the other one on a cell phone.
Last week, I saw the two of them together walking toward my street, both walking normally.
Whether or not there is a 'legitimate' reason they beg, they need Jesus.
Perhaps they believe they can make more money standing in over 100 degree weather, depending on the pity, compassion or ignorance of travelers.
Whatever their reason, the issue of homelessness, hopelessness and salvation have taken issue in my heart. A proud, judgemental heart that Jesus in me will not tolerate.
We've been homeless. Not for long, but long enough to taste the bitter fruit of rejection, fear, discouragement, and abandonment.
When I saw that man fishing around for food in that garbage can, once again the Spirit in me began I listening when He speaks? Am I even aware of the thoughts of my own heart? The criticism and judgment that I pass on others less fortunate?
This is so raw and ugly to admit.
Having been homeless, without His love and the love of His children, that could have been me, us, our children. How quickly I'd forgotten and I just read,
"What controls the heart, will direct the life."
Jesus, forgive me-again.

"I will be patient as the Lord punishes me, for I have sinned against him.
But after that, he will take up my case and punish my enemies for all the evil
they have done to me. The Lord will bring me out of my darkness into the light,
and I will see his righteousness." Micah 7:9

I stand in awe of His grace and love for me, His daughter. No stone is left unturned, no thought contrary to His grace isn't addressed.

I am His representative. Enough said.

Love and I purposed to be intentional in our daily living. We agreed that our children have been 'sheltered' long enough and if their faith is not tested, then it isn't real faith. How can they reach out if they aren't seeing that lived out before them in tangible ways?
Hence, another test, another opportunity for His power to deliver me from thoughts that aren't His and arrest the lies that keep me, us, from sharing His life in us.
How ugly to come to grips with what I believed, yet how freeing to see His Spirit in me challenge, rebuke and lead me into abundant life.
"All honor to the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by his boundless mercy that God has
given us the privilege of being born again. Now we live with a wonderful
expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. "
1 Peter 1:3 (NLT)

What are the 'uglies' in you?

What are your thoughts about others less fortunate or struggling?

Surely I'm not the only one that needs their thoughts arrested and taken to prison, in order to be truly set free.

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