Seeing past the wall


This week as I was praying for someone about this very thing, I realised that I put people in a box, categorise them. Sometimes I even write them off, without giving them much of a chance. It’s usually because of one characteristic that maybe doesn’t suit me. For example I have realised I often write off people who joke a lot as “one dimensional”, or people who have to be sarcastic all the time.

Just because they don’t show more than that to me at a glance I continue on my way, not bothering to dig deeper.

We’ve heard of the benefit of the doubt, but how often do we give someone the benefit of the second look? Because anyone created in the image of a holy God deserves a second look from us. Think of the people you’ve merely glanced at, and I don’t mean in the physical sense. People you’ve decided aren’t “good investments” of your time.

I was praying for this person because of a prophetic picture God gave me about people placing a ceiling over them. I nearly started crying when I realised that I was one of them. Their eyelashes were wet as I prayed for a freedom for them as God broke the ceiling and they grew to their full potential.

Sometimes all we see is the wall. But it takes a minute (or sometimes a lot longer) to realise the reason that people build walls: that person has put their heart out there. And that person has been hurt. Walls are built for protection after all; just look at medieval cities. You’re seeing the wall but you’re not seeing the person. Nobody is one dimensional and to believe so is naive at best and damaging at worst.

Who do you need to take another look at? Because there are a lot of people in this world who desperately need to be seen.

Sincerely, 

Lil
Image: http://www.chatelaine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/BerlinWall-660×547.jpg, sourced 22 May 

Advertisements

Having trouble hearing God’s voice?

This Wednesday my bible study group spent some “soak” time, just being in God’s presence. We put some music on, got comfy/closed our eyes/whatever, and just waited. Not something a lot of us do too regularly.

Instead of bringing out our big shopping list for God and not letting Him get a word in edgewise, we created space for Him to do some talking, to reveal Himself. I was reminded, like I am every time I do this, that the less I talk, the better it tends to be.

God loves a thankful, adoring heart that is simply seeking to bask in His presence. We’ve somehow gotten the notion that our relationships must be firstly functional, even if we don’t admit it to ourselves. What does this relationship help me to achieve? If you really think about it, the best relationships aren’t the ones filled with gold stars but intimacy.

Consider a child. They are not efficient, functional, practical, but are in practically every way delightful. The bible tells us to be like children if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3) and God refers to us as His children (Galatians 3:26).

Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that God is not an emotional God. If you want a refresher, read some of the Old Testament. If there’s one thing we can be sure God is, it’s passionate.

In John 17:24 Jesus, when praying, says, “Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!” (NLT)

Jesus wants us to be with Him and see His glory. During the quiet time on Wednesday I felt God say to create space for Him at youth group on Friday.

All of the boys (generally the louder ones) in our youth couldn’t make it that night and I was tempted to change the plan, especially when a brand new girl walked in, but in order to be obedient I had to stick to it.

Almost immediately I got us in a small circle, explained to the girls that tonight was a practical application of seeing Jesus (the discussion from last week) and learning to hear the Father’s voice. The time was so sweet. It is such a privilege to be involved in ministering to people, and there’s a special place in my heart for young girls.

Learning to hear God is a process, and He can speak in many different ways (dreams, words, pictures, His written logos Word (the bible), prophets, songs, donkeys (Numbers 22:28-35), to name a few). But my encouragement is don’t be afraid to practice; that’s how you grow. The more you create space the more you will hear God’s voice, and the more you hear God’s voice the clearer/easier it will become. Then comes the tougher part: obedience. But that’s another article in itself.

When you’re waiting for His voice, listen for the whisper, because the Lord was not in the wind, fire or the earthquake, when it came to Elijah (1 Kings 19:12). There’s a reason for that: God wants us to come closer.

Happy seeking!

Sincerely,
Lil

 


Image: http://thecrackeddoor.com/Main/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/God-Voice.png, sourced 15 May 2016.

Date While You Wait

This video is just one of the ways we can connect with people. It’s simple, asks for nothing back and puts a smile on people’s face. These days it’s hard to do something for nothing, because people are always wondering, “What’s the catch?” I am too, because there usually is a catch. I’m one of those people who cringes when a stranger approaches me on the street and the hawkers (for want of a better word) in the shopping centre that I work give me serious anxiety (a lot of fake phone calls and very intense text messages to write as I walk past them).

I’ve tried to get into the habit of opening my eyes a little more when I’m out in public. A lot of people are in a rush, but there are some who aren’t. Some who might be lingering that extra five minutes in the hopes of some human interaction. But that someone is often someone that, if we’re honest, we would overlook. How often do you stop to talk to elderly people, or a homeless person?

In the last couple of months and particularly today at church I’ve been challenged to think of the group(s) of people I hesitate to interact with. Who do you draw back from or avoid associating with?

I challenge you this week to look at them with new eyes, the eyes of the Father, and move toward them, rather than away. I promise to as well.

(Thanks to Thomas C. Knox and Huffington Post for the video.)

Sincerely,
Lil

 

Sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqY4y1TrXFc, accessed 15 May 2016.

Sunday’s prompt: describe an electronic device in the future that you won’t know how to operate

I have made it a week with these prompts and feel somewhat accomplished.

Considering I already don’t know how to use a lot of today’s electronic devices (I may still be suspicious of e-books), it should be easy for me to describe something technology-related that I’ll be clueless about, but I’m struggling.

I’ve heard about a tracking device that fits on the head of a pin.

Here are some of the issues I’d have with that:

  1. Finding it after I’d put it down
  2. Programming it because I’d first have to invent an electronic hand with fingers small enough to handle it
  3. Convincing people (especially those with low vision) that I actually had one of these things because it probably couldn’t be seen with the naked eye

You’d be able to track anything or anyone, like your kid who you thought was up to no good. You might want to track your dog or cat if you’re that way inclined, although I don’t think a pet would require such a stealthy device. You could put it on your grandma if you had one like the great grandmother in My Big Fat Greek Wedding who keeps trying to run away. You could put it on your phone, keys or wallet if you’re one of those people perpetually losing one of these items (we all know someone like this).

Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t even know how to turn it on or off, or how to connect it to a device like a computer, in order to track someone. If I only learnt how to open my car bonnet last year, I think something this high-tech wouldn’t have trouble stumping me. I conclude that I’d just have to put the device on something I never wanted to find.

And thus ends the week of writing to respond to prompts from 642 Things to Write About.

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,
Lil

Image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/22/75/89/22758972ecd17c09b9bdcf3236df7702.jpg, 1 May 2016.