This week’s questions:
- Maintain Your Stance: What has God called you to do, and how will you continue to do it?
- Identify where your opposition to this call is coming from. What do you believe God says to this, and how does God ask you to respond?
- Where do you need your Community’s Support, and how soon can you ask for it?
The Lord has called me to walk in kindness through obedience and truth. It means that to maintain my stance I must pray, move in faith, do not fear, and look for God’s kindness, let Him restore, eat at His table daily, and learn through the tears I want to hide by allowing them. Earlier this week in the Sunday2Monday post. I said this, “I, like Pastor Chad, and like Nehemiah can put our hand to the plow without allowing external things to throw us off.” In this description, we can look at this in two different ways: External (outside ourselves) and Internal (inside ourselves) or External (outside our community) and Internal (inside the community). It is often the internal things in me or the community that I live, that will cause me more distress than the external things. Internal to me are those things that are in my living space, my thoughts, my marriage, my home, my family, my work, and my church family. These are the things that are closest to me and can rot me and distraught me from the inside out. The Lord has a way of fine-tuning my thinking. (This usually comes about through writing, sharing here, or sharing with a friend.) It truly is interesting to me how others can affect another person. The word effect can sound negative, which used to for me. I don’t think it is. I believe it is how we respond that can determine the outcome of how others affect us. People having the ability to affect us is called living in a community. If we allowed God to redeem the relationships between us this affecting could change our whole world.
So, what’s the point? I had this situation happen yesterday where I was happy as a lark then walked into a room, as soon as I passed this one person, I felt my whole body posture up defensively, my eyes went sideways, and my eyebrows furrowed. I was so disturbed by this automatic reaction that my instinct to distract and protect myself from uncomfortable things kicked it. It took me a minute or 10 to figure out what in the world just happened. Then I went to them and had a very frank but kind conversation about what I had just experienced. Turned out they were dealing with some turmoil about people that they care about. We talked a little about that and they were able to move forward emotionally clear and free.
As I continue to answer the questions above, I see the opposition that the enemy injects into this call to walk in kindness through obedience and truth, which is an emotional distraction. I don’t readily enter into the emotional states of people. I maintain my own. I find it difficult to empathize because my auto-habit is to distract myself from the hard emotional situation. This is all connected to an array of relational garble gook that took place when I was a little kid. The Lord has been working on me in the areas of being present, listening (that means not trying to fix it), and this year He is adding the gift of tears. Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. I think we can safely say this means to enter into another’s emotional state and be there with them. Pastor Lindsay, said in our staff meeting yesterday, something that caught my ear, “We cry out of our eyes because our tears are meant to be seen.”
Emotionally connecting with people in their distress or their joy isn’t meant to be over social media. It’s meant to be done face to face and eye to eye. Words on a screen may describe what’s happening, but there is nothing like sitting in the moment together. We feeling it together, praying over it together, and walking through it together. We all need this. I need this.
And I dont know how to ask for it! or maybe I just did.
How will you maintain your stance?
All is grace,