Thursday, May 28, 2015

holding the stone

He is married.  She is not his wife.  And the story gets much deeper and darker after that.  Ready to condemn her, I held the stone in my hand.  I was disgusted and angry that such a thing could carry on.

When I saw her next I could barely be cordial, wanting instead to lash out in judgment.

It took a few words with another to change my mind.  My eyes were pointed back to Christ and what would honor Him.  Christ himself, would not condemn her, but instead show compassion and love.

When I saw evil and filthiness I should have seen a broken young woman.  I should have seen the pain.  When I wanted to lash out at her I should have spoken words of love.

It reminds me of the woman caught in adultery in John chapter 8.  The scribes and Pharisees brought this woman to Jesus and were ready to stone her for her sin.  They wanted to throw rocks at her until he she died!

Jesus said,  "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone a her."

One by one, each man realized that they were not qualified to judge and condemn this woman.  One by one they turned and left.  If it takes someone perfect to judge, is there really anyone qualified other than God himself?

Does Jesus judge?  He said in John 8, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man."  So he tells the adulteress woman,  "Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more."  He didn't accept her sin.  He recognized that she was guilty but he didn't pronounce a sentence on her.  He urged her to quit her sin.

"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved."  John 3:17

I was definitely humbled when I learned what God was trying to show me.  Here I was sitting in proud judgment, stone in hand, ready for some sort of condemnation to fall on a broken young woman, taken in sin.  But Jesus says, "He that is without sin among you, let him first a cast a stone at her."  Oh boy.

You want to know what Jesus wants us to do in these situations?

"Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged:
Condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned:
forgive, and ye shall be forgiven."
Luke 6:36-37
I'm not saying there is no judgment but what I am saying is that judgment belongs to God.  I'm a flesh and bone human being.  I'm finite.  I'm imperfect.  I can't see to the heart of a person like God can.  When God judges it is not based on what He sees.  He doesn't reprove based on what He hears.  This is all I would have to go on.  God, in His righteousness and perfection is fit to judge.  I am not.
My heart has been softened.  It doesn't mean that I accept the awful things that have gone on or the lifestyle that others have chosen.  It means that I love people with a love beyond what I am capable of.
I love how God works.  He let me see that I was in the wrong.  He drew my heart and eyes back on Him.  Then He allowed me to see the lesson in action.
I was sitting in a waiting room, in the back, in a corner because that's how I roll.  There was a young woman with a brand new baby boy sitting there.  I later learned that he was just two weeks old! 
Another young woman came and sat in the room, nearer to the young mother.  They shared some small talk.  The young mother gave the young woman an invitation to her church.  The young woman admitted that she is a drug addict, clean for just two weeks now and that this invitation comes at a perfect time for her.  The young mother encouraged her saying that she, too, had been an addict and those first two weeks were the hardest. 
And I sat in the corner of that waiting room watching what God's love looks like in action.  And I didn't miss the beautiful poetry in that the young mother's baby and the young woman's sobriety were the same age. 
God works amazing things.  God can heal the worst situations.  And in the midst of all of this He takes the time to teach me a lesson.
The end.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

this is thursday

Outside my window...  Sunshine!  And birds!  We've had a lot of goldfinches and hummingbirds.  All the starlings just had babies so that has been a ruckous.  And some smart crows have been visiting the suet feeder when they think nobody is watching.

I am thankful...  for this face.  My Charlie dog is so loyal and loving.

I am wearing...  Skinny jeans and a gray flowered tunic-style shirt with my fave sandals.

I went...  to our little town's farmers' market with my youngest son today.  I got a jar of honey.  I love how it captures the sunshine, like sunshine in a jar.  And tastes wonderful.  It'll be a great addition to a cup of coffee.

I am reading...  The Hiding Place  by, Corrie Ten Boom

The Hiding Place: Corrie Ten Boom, Deluxe Edition   -     By: Corrie ten Boom

I am hoping...  One of my hens went broody this week, meaning that she got the desire to hatch herself a brood of chicks.  The problem is that without a rooster, none of the eggs they lay are fertile so her efforts are for naught.  And while broody, a hen gets moody and doesn't lay eggs.   So I've been researching how to break a broody hen, researching and fretting and researching some more.  Today, she seems back to normal (although I didn't really do much).  So, my hope is that she starts laying again soon.

In my garden...  There are a lot of things growing and taking shape.  I'm amazed at how it changes day to day.  The other morning as I watered, a hummingbird stopped in to inspect the sprinkler.  They are inquisitive little creatures, and thirsty.

In my kitchen...  Tonight we're having upside down pizza casserole for dinner.

In the homeschool room...  There is less than a month left of school after which my only remaining homeschooler will be off to high school.  And my heart aches a little bit because of it.  He's working through trigonometry and dependent clauses and it's not fun but he's here, and for now, that is enough for me.

One of my favorite things...  those fave sandals I mentioned?  From Wal-Mart of all places!  I could wear these every day. 

Faded Glory Women's Casual Toe Loop Flat Sandal

A favorite quote for today...  Isaiah 46:4  "I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry you, and will deliver you."

God reminds us that He is our creator, our deliverer, our sustainer.  A few verses later, there is a description of some folks that built a "god" out of gold.  They made it, they bear it, they carried it to a place and set it there.  Once there, it didn't move and did absolutely nothing for them.  I'm thankful that my God is not made of stone and is ever present in my trials and victories.

Monday, May 11, 2015

hanging on

Truth be told, life isn't sunshine and lollipops all the time.  I know this isn't news to anyone.  We all live real life.  And real life gets messy and gritty.  But real life is beautiful and full of wonder too.

Some days I feel like I'm just hanging on.  Like the end of the day comes and I reflect on my day of hanging on and feel a little accomplishment because I succeeded at that one thing.  Hanging on.

Other days are brighter, and full of joy and wonderful things, and a soul just basks in the moments and soaks it all in like a sponge because yesterday wasn't so hot and maybe tomorrow won't be either, but this day, this one is great.

It's been a season of stretching.  My spirit is weary, but joy pervades.  Faith stretches and I groan with the strain of it.  Change, inevitable by it's very nature, still catches me off guard, leaving me breathless.

I ask God for some peace in the tumult.

Some courage.

Some clarity.

Some air in my lungs.

The thing is, I know I'm not the only one.  My messy isn't any messier than yours.  My battle no more wearying.  But this is what I know:  God gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increases strength.

And that right there, it gets me through.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31