Years ago, a young lady was telling my husband about how judgmental we were.
“What do you mean?” my husband asked her. “We have not said one word to you.”
“Yes, I know,” she admitted, “but you look at me.”
It was true. I did look at her. The girl was wearing things to draw attention to her body, and then when my attention was drawn to her, she was not happy. It felt a little unfair… This girl was experimenting with clothing designed to catch the eye. When I fell for it, I was in trouble.
I told myself, “If you can’t stop yourself from looking, and yet you want this girl to feel loved, the best you can do is to smile.”
The next school function I went to, I smiled and smiled and smiled. I smiled at everyone! It was the best I could do. I couldn’t stop being grieved, but I could love!
Is it easier to stare in discomfort or to smile in love? This particular girl had been around me since she was a toddler. She knew what I stood for. I didn’t have to tell her. But I wanted her and others to feel my love.
I want to love!
Last week as I was praying, I felt like God showed me that some things are easy. It’s easy to feel frustrated with someone who is not doing what they should do. It’s easy to talk about the problem. It’s easy to get dismayed. But taking the same problem to God and crying and carrying the burden is more effort.
It’s easier to get cynical when someone makes the wrong decision, says something they shouldn’t, or has the wrong attitude. It’s easier to get frustrated with the frustrated people.
It’s harder to weep.
One of my nephews came into the Shelbyville church years ago and caught my father moaning and crying at the altar. His heart was broken as he prayed for those in his family. He was saying, “Lord, you said if I would weep between the porch and the altar…”
What a compass for me! “You said if I would weep between the porch and the altar…”
Lord, take a coal from Your altar and touch my lips. I don’t want to rob the peace of my heart by sitting around disgruntled. I want to love until my heart is broken. I want to love until I weep!
Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen would rule over them: Joel 2:19