It’s cold in Carolina, maybe not nearly as cold as Tennessee; but, it’s cold and the azaleas I wonder, the petals that mark the season might be confused, wishing they’d not shown themselves so soon.
I understand, the exposure threatening the brilliance of a blooming, finally.
I go to open the door, looking for the sound of bird heard from my morning spot, the sound that caused the big lab’s head to tilt in the sweetest of pose. Slide the sliding door and look towards the hedge and it appears quickly, a cardinal as if waiting for me to come and see.
I prayed this morning asking God that I might be more like Jesus. I pondered the thoughts of the stories I’d been reading, found myself returning to, the stories of redemption of people who’d done wrong. I’ve been resting there with the stories of scarlet colored women, the ones who’d given up on self and on God and the ones who the onlookers judged Jesus by his lack of judgment.
These are chapters and books graced by the printers to have changed the ink to red in certain places, spectacular words.
The Samaritan woman, a small and miserly man in a tree, the young son blind and fearing he and his parents caused his disability and the woman, red-faced and expecting to be stoned, her reputation. Everyone told Jesus of her bad things; but, he said see others have them too, here’s your chance, go and live more freely.
Yesterday, there was a conversation about uncaring words spoken by those who mask insecurity. Women who long for things to meet covered up unmet needs. The conversation went too long. It tried to be one of understanding; but, became an enjoyable exchange with slight giggles of how “I’m glad I’m not like her.” with excitement in our eyes over the realization we’re different, “Hey, we love Jesus, kinda makes us better.”
Oh, my goodness.
I woke up wondering about the ones who taunted Jesus, the ones who were in charge who he met along the way. I wondered if they ever came close to making him feel less than who he knew he was purposed to be. The ones who pushed his “insecurity buttons” and if he were like me, he might have either hidden away or told them just how pompous and arrogant they were and that they too had insecurities…”why don’t you be yourself and quit trying to hide them?!.”
Silly to think, that Jesus might confront unlovingly. He is love and justice
Mercy, humility, and kindness.
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
He became human so he’d understand us, yet, he never once acted from the place, ugly human.
So, this morning, I prayed that I’d love the unlovable.
I’ve loved the needy. I’ve had empathy for the homeless and abused. I’ve cradled dirty and lonely children in my arms and smiled when they smiled back. I’ve helped those who cursed me and cursed at me and I’ve listened to stories of grief that make no sense at all.
But, Father, I ask you to help me love the pompous. Help me baffle them with my grace, your grace. Help me love those who cause me to be insecure, the ones who hide their own insecurities at the cost of my conclusion that I’m unlike them and unworthy
because I only wrote a story, not a book.
Yes, God, I pray I see more clearly the ones who cover their wounds, shielded by the shadows of pointing out the “less than or less beautiful than another” in hopes of being undoubtedly enough…or more than.
See, Jesus, help me to see like you, like a lone red bird
fluttering by on a cold morning calling me out.
Help me to see, Jesus.
Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee here: http://jenniferdukeslee.com/learning-live-audience-one/