So I restored the post.
Not because I am standing here in my defiance, raising my fist, saying, “This is my blog and it’s my right!”
My rights are all at the feet of Jesus.
No, I am restoring it because when I first started this blog I made myself a quiet little vow that this would be “warts and all.” I am not what anyone could call a “great saint.” I struggle and I claw and I cry and whine and I make mistakes and apologize and get up and start all over again. Nothing about my life is perfect or ever will be, until Jesus takes me home.
But my attempts to hide my imperfections only make me look silly. My friends know me well enough to know I am not perfect. What I love about that is that somehow y’all still love me anyway.
God keeps answering my questions through all of you and through His Word and through other blog friends; today, it was Ann.
This quote jumped out at me: ”Smith said that family ought to see a man less for what he is, and more for what the man wants to be. Said that’s called grace. I reckon he’s right.”
I do, too.
Not because I’m into deception; rather, I think often we can encourage each other by focusing on the good, by seeing each other with eyes of faith. When we tell a child she is smart and helpful, this becomes a part of her identity, her pursuit of herself—she wants to be known as smart and helpful. I don’t believe this changes when we become adults. Don’t we all want to be perceived in a good way? Don’t we all seek to change daily for the better—to become kinder, more patient, more giving, more hopeful?
After all, our God “calls things that are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). God speaks and things happen, and He calls us to do the same through prayer. So we speak hope and truth and what could be with eyes of faith turned firmly on Christ. We co-create when we pray in alignment with the Spirit of God.
My anger at this other Christian was all about me and my own fear. While I still disagree with him, I realize now I was not seeing him rightly. I was not seeing him with the eyes of grace—the eyes I hope he would look at me with.
The eyes that Jesus looks at me with.
We’re all on the same journey, just in different places. We face our different challenges at different times and we cope with them in radically different ways. This makes it easy to give in to “the pointing finger and malicious talk.”* Even when we stay close to Jesus.
I still haven’t figured out all the answers. But thanks to you all (and Jesus), as I find my faith in my walk restored, maybe I’m on my way to asking better questions.
* “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. –Isaiah 58: 6-11