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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rain Drops Keep Falling, Continued.

At the close of my last post, we left Jen standing in a bathroom in complete hysterics after a particularly humilliating confrontation at a worship service somewhere in Atlanta.

I'd like to share my thoughts on that experience.

I'd like to start off with 1 Corinthians 13:1 as it relates to the gang of concerned peers who approached me.

I don't think the Lord could have orchestrated a better paradigim for what I ought NEVER to do to another living soul for as long as I should live. Even now the sting of humilation penetrates deep into my heart.

I don't hold anything against those young women who approached me. In many ways they were so RIGHT. They we're justified in being disgusted by my attire. They we're perfectly within their right to be concerend for their "brothers". Clearly they knew something was askew.

Unfortuantely, they decieded that they should deal with me instead of the Lord, and they pushed aside His command to do everything in love, preferring their own methods instead.

What they didn't understand is that while my attire was a real problem I had many more significant problems happening under the surface. They allowed themselves to become indignat and forgot what it meant to receive grace. They discriminated among themselves and became judges with evil thoughts. And, just like the Pharasees, they forgot just who it was Christ died for.

So many times when we talk about sharing the Gospel in areas of the world where there is immense sufering due to lack of basic physical necessities, we talk about how there comes a point when a person needs to have food in their belly and water to drink before they are able to receive anything deeper. Well, I think love is a necessitytoo; like air, or water, or food, love is VITAL to people being able to hear and receive the Gospel.

When a person comes into church starving for love who do we think we are to deny them it? Do we think we're serving Jesus? Do we really believe He is pleased with us, the children He rescued from wallowing in the mirk and mire of our own wretched sin, for rejecting each other?

How could these ladies have dreamed of the many nights I had been sitting before the Lord allowing Him to wash my feet? How could they have known that I had turned over my heart to Him? They were never privvy to the conversations me and my Jesus had together! They were unaware of where my heart stood in relation to God's.


Luke 6:36-38 (NIV)
36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

37"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Proverbs 21:2 (NIV)
2 All a man's ways seem right to him,
but the LORD weighs the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7b (NIV)
... The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

James 2:12-13 (NIV)
12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

Proverbs 14:12 (NIV)
12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death.

In the end I see that even the horrible shame I felt as a result of this life experience isn't a waste. I don't have to be pelted by guilt and embarassment. I can receive the blessings God offers me for my participation in that affair.

What seemed like a torrential downpour at the time now feels like a gentle restorative mist.

Not only am I surrounded by God's grace, I'm soaking in it.

Genesis 50:20 (NIV)
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
(When I read this verse I replace "many lives" with MY LIFE)

Lord keep my feet from stumbling into the pit of pride! May I NEVER forget what you have done for me, and may I NEVER be afraid to share Your love with others. I ask you to never let my love for You grow cold. Don't ever let me prefer religion over my ralationshp with you. Don't let my insecurities keep me from extending grace and peace to others. Amen


Rob and Heather said...

Thanks for sharing this Jen. You are a very strong women...the Lord has made you strong!


Allison said...

Thank you for sharing. I too have a past that well, I would rather not share. Your experience has and will encourage others to live the true love of Jesus. Thanks!

beBOLDjen said...

Thanks for the encouragement ladies. I don't know that the Lord has made me particularly strong but He has done a LOT of healing in my life. I'm so thankful for that!!!!

I did have a moment of panic yesterday when I had over 100 visitors to my page. I wondered why, of all days, I had to have so many hits (considereing how personal the topic was) but I guess in the end that is why the Lord moved me to share. I suppose there aren't many of us who haven't been hurt in a similar way or made really bad choices we wish we hadn't.

Stacey said...

Thanks for the reminder not to judge others! I shared about this in youth a few weeks ago. I hate being judged so why is it that I think it's fair to judge others? You are an amazing woman and I'm glad to call you friend!

E said...

Such a great reminder! I'm pretty sure Jesus would take bigger issue with not loving someone than with whatever that person had done to "deserve" being treated that way. I think of how I look at my own children and even when they've done their worst, I still see so much beauty and goodness and truth there...and I still love them to the core. I suspect that's how God sees and values us. My feeling is that He wants us to see others through His eyes. Plus, if we look at Jesus He didn't run around pointing lots of fingers.

Sassy Granny ... said...

No wonder we're encouraged to grow in our faith; to sink mature roots in the soil of grace. It's not easy, but it's preferable to the slick, quick counterfeit we all-too-often offer the hurting one(s) in our midst.

Thank you for your transparency. It's a gift for the onlooker, and proof-positive that your roots continue to sink deeper still.


jamullins said...

Thanks for sharing this!