I asked someone a question recently & when they replied, I asked, “Is that the real answer or the right answer?” When I asked this question, it began to circulate in my mind & I wondered how many times I give the right answer but maybe not always the real answer. I know what I’m supposed to say, so I give the right words. And I do this because I know that the “real words” could be challenging not only to hear, but also to speak. It’s very wonderful when both the real & right words are the same!
I’m grateful to realize that God can help us grow & change such that our real words can also be the right words more & more!
Just a little friendly food for thought on this nice Monday 🙂
In Bangledesh today, I met a group of floating sexworkers, in contrast to the brothel sexworkers I visited yesterday. Sometimes I think it’s human nature to quantify or qualify bad, worse & worst. So we think that one kind or quantity of suffering is worse than another. I’m not sure that I think this entirely accurate. Suffering hurts, full stop.
Can we find it in our hearts to express compassion regardless of who is suffering or how much is being suffered?
I hugged each woman that I met this afternoon deeply & wholly, feeling that I wanted more love to pour through me for them. None of these experiences are easy to process but the worst thing for me that could happen would be to ignore my feelings & disregard the eyes with whom I met with deep affection & connection.
How we treat people reflects what we think about them on the inside. So if we treat the barista like an extension of the espresso machine, then we’re thinking of them in terms of an object rather than a living human. This happens alot when we get in transactional modes of interaction & neglect to see the person with whom we’re interacting.
When we try to change someone: correcting their attitudes, challenging their political opinions, getting them closer to Jesus, making them “better”; let’s be careful that we’re not treating them like a “project“. The exceptions to this concern can be the parent, teacher or mentor roles, all of which are most affective when we perceive the recipient of our input as a human & not merely a project.
I think what made Jesus so entirely irresistable by the masses of humanity, when He walked on the earth, is that He interacted with everyone with authenticity, genuine love and sincere interest. He engaged with each individual as a person, not as a project nor object. This is what happens when we interact with others from the place of genuine love rather than manipulation, achievement or domination. Let’s allow our lives to remain in genuine love so that our interactions with others resound with redemption & reconciliation!
I have the wonderful honor of getting to be around fabulous people, like Pam who did my makeup & Christie who did my hair today. Both of these wonderful ladies & a boatload of other fantastic peeps (like Demetria, Garrett, Molly, Ivorie & more) are folk behind the scenes in tv / webland for CBN with the 700 Club. These people are magnificent in glorious ways: kind, patient, FUN & super smart!
Everyone has unique strengths & we are at our best when we are ourselves & do what we are good at. Here are some ideas that might help us as we endeavor to be our best:
Be sincere – fake & pretentious can be repulsive
Be kind – there’s more than enough cranky to go around
When I read the news, seeing all kinds of awful things going on, sometimes I want to curl up in a corner with a blanket, headphones & a good book.
And then I saw this today, which is a nice wake up call:
While I fully understand that police are flawed humans, I also appreciate that they routinely put their lives at risk to protect and serve. I like that this lady expresses her love with such sincerity & I hope I can be as authentic and sincere 🙂
The world in which we live has some people who do some really crazy things – holding their breath for multiple minutes for deep water diving, wrestling with aligators, playing polo with a sheep head & lots of even crazier things! Who does that kind of stuff???
Here’s a quiz. Who does this kind of stuff?
disagrees with the religious & cultural norms
touches disease infested people, endeavoring to make them better
welcomes everyone who is ostracized, outcast and isolated
seemingly abandons his friends at the very worst possible time
does everything within his power to help people, even when they’re ungrateful