“Mom, I want to give the rest of my burrito to that homeless lady.” I cocked my head and looked at my teenager as if she was speaking another language. “What homeless lady?” I asked. “That one over there.” She turned her body toward the corner of the restaurant we had just vacated. The woman was sitting three tables away from ours and I never even saw her. While I praised God for this tender-hearted child I’ve been given, my spirit was coming apart.
One of the most challenging things about participating in a Daniel fast is not the actual act of omitting certain foods from my diet. It’s the part where God takes an extensive inventory of my thoughts, words, and actions. Everything is splayed open and examined like a patient on the cusp of a major surgery. What I saw today shook me to my core. When did I become so concerned about protecting myself that I failed to notice another human in need just a few feet away?
Let each of you look out not only for his own interests,
but also for the interests of others.
Earlier today in church my nephew hugged everyone in my row but made a point to skip over me. The reason why he did that? My arms were crossed. He somehow sensed that I had closed myself off from the world around me. I could blame it on being shy and introverted or I could blame it on the healing process. I've been hurt and I have trust issues and God is still fixing me. The message God wants me to get is loud and clear. Regardless of how introverted I am or where I am in the healing process there is a lost and hurting world out there that needs what I have to offer. When I finally reached out to God in prayer this is what He said…
“So you messed up. Get up and try again. You made some bad decisions. Make better ones. You spoke when you should have remained silent; remained silent when you should have spoken. Let me speak through you. Stop looking at your skinned knees and start looking toward the finish line. Pick up your feet and keep running. If you’re not happy with your own pace move faster but don’t stop. Believe that I will finish the work I started in you. I believe in you.”
is not food or
but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit
Update: The day afterI made a conscious effort to smile more and make myself more approachable while I was out running errands. While the name of Jesus did not come up, I had two separate conversations with random strangers. Baby steps…