I share today’s post with the knowledge that as a community, we can choose to give grace when our flesh flares up and calls us to judgement. I’ve wrestled with sharing this story because it’s fresh and personal, but this morning, I felt Jesus give me permission to share. As I writer, I wrestle with how much is too much. I wrestle with what liberties I can take and I’ve come to terms with the boundaries I have set for myself. I share this story because it was meant for my harm with no intent for reconciliation. Had this story happened around my dinner table with hope for the future, it would have never been shared here. What someone meant for harm, I am going to use in hopes that it is for your good.
And today, I ask you to give grace and no judgement.
To me this picture shows true poverty. What we have in this country is a lot of people who have learned how to live off of the government and the generosity of others.
I should have stopped responding to each one, but I couldn’t not respond.
Do you really believe that every child is born with the same potential? Almost all children can learn but they do not all have the same potential. Some have learning problems caused by their mother’s choices before they are even born.
Sometimes I think that you don’t really get what is going on.
The reason children seem hungry is because they have parents who use the money they have for alcohol, drugs, hair and nails, etc. If we continue to feed their children they won’t have to.
With every line, a part of me died on the inside while another part of me flamed with the injustice of every word of the thousands that were flooding my inbox. Words I hadn’t asked for. Words meant to do harm.
I couldn’t stop opening each message and pouring over each word.
By the time the sixth message hit my inbox, I stood in the kitchen and read them to Thad. He leaned against the refrigerator eating chips and hummus and listened before throwing his two cents into the air.
Why do you care? Stop reading them. And definitely stop talking back to her. She’s not asking you because she really wants to know. he said.
Because I KNOW her! I said. She’s not some nameless, faceless person I’ve never met. She walks her dog in front of our house! We could have her over for dinner and have a helpful conversation. She’s a believer for crying out loud! But with every word that I read, I feel more and more wounded. And that is her intent. It’s evident. She’s intending to do me harm.
If I didn’t know her, I could let it go. But because I do, my heart will not let me dismiss her or hate her. I only want to talk this through until we mend this.
What if it can’t be mended? Even if you try. What if she dismisses you? he asked.
I had no answer. Only a shrug of my shoulders.
We stood in the kitchen for a while longer as I let his words sink in.
And I felt this heaviness erupt into something less like me and more like Jesus and it was then that I knew that what she meant for evil, God was using for my good.
God was birthing in me the kind of compassion that would not allow me to demonize the very person out to do me harm.
And it had taken four years to bring it to life.
Your turn! What is your #onethingrightnow? How is God stretching your heart to hold the people in your place? How are you loving your neighbors?