Thursday, May 03, 2007

Leaving the kitchen to find God.

Luke 6:35
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are. ~Author Unknown

Galatians 6:10
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver. ~ Barbara De Angelis

1 Timothy 6:17,18,19
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses. ~Chinese Proverb

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

In this world, there is nothing softer or thinner than water. But to compel the hard and unyielding, it has no equal. That the weak overcomes the strong, that the hard gives way to the gentle -- this everyone knows. Yet no one asks accordingly. ~ Lao-Tse

I almost didn't write this post, because it felt like I was changing the subject that I've been on for so long. But as I read more about it, and then found these quotes and verses, I realized it's just one more aspect to what I'm working towards already.

I've been moved to action by the "Million Acts Of Kindness" campaign going on in the DFW area & . And as I've made a few kind moves I've realized how vulnerable I feel about the actions being rejected. People are prideful, and I know first hand that it's humbling to have people unexpectedly do something kind for you. I know how much I hate the fact that Christ had to suffer like that - for me. He could do that for the rest of the world if He wants to, but I would rather die than have Him suffer like that for me. Christs act of kindness, His sacrifice, humbles me.

The very first verse I posted, Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. That's what God did for me. He lent His only Son to the world with my salvation in mind. He gave His Son for us, when we were unthankful and evil. He gave His Son knowing some of us would refuse entirely, some of us would refuse for only a season of our lives, and worse still - some of us would accept the gift of His Son only to later refuse it. He gave His Son knowing that even the most thankful of us would never be thankful enough.

"for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil"

I've been praying for more of God, to know Him better, to see His power, and in all that I've just realized how truly kind He is. I'm sure I've said it before, but I don't know that I really thought about it much before. In a recent post I said:
"It's in daily loving others as much as you love yourself. I love myself enough to buy me an ice cream cone, but do I love the guy next to me in line enough to say "his is on me"? I mow my lawn, but do I love my neighbors enough to offer to mow theirs after I finish mine? It's in letting someone else put in the last puzzle piece, eat the last cookie, get in front of you in line, choose the temperature of the room, "

And it's only just now hitting me that Christ would do all those things. He is not just a kind friend, but a kind stranger. His kindness shows an unabashed love for every individual.
My love, isn't there yet. Even when I do love others, I do it almost embarrassedly, because I know others will think it's strange, or it becomes mocked as a weakness. That's why the story of Christ washing His disciples feet always gets me. And I wonder how He did it. It makes me wish for His strength, His bold love. His bold servitude. It's one thing to wash your disciples feet. It's another thing to kneel down in front of that disciple, holding your rag and your water basin and hope he won't say "No, you can't wash my feet".

I've said I want to be more like Him, that I want more of Him in me, and so often when I say that I'm talking about power and spirit. Feeling His presence, and walking in power and authority, seeing miracles and wonders. It's only recently that I've added into the equation what Christ actually did on the earth. He didn't just walk around doing miracles. He acted in the Spirit of the Law, rather than the law, blowing peoples lifelong ideas concerning how the religious sect should behave. He looked at condemned people and with Gods eyes saw the greater problem in the situation was those that were condemning. He convinced people that their very sins had been forgiven, by Him. A crazy thought when you stop and think about it. He behaved in ways people thought were crazy, spoke words people thought were crazy, and died for a reason that people still believe to be crazy.

But, I've realized, what I'm doing with God is like trying to play hide and seek with a child that's hiding outside, yet not wanting to "seek" outside the house. I'll never find him while I stay in the kitchen. I'll find traces of him, signs that he's been there, ate there, slept there, played there, but I'll never find the child until I'm willing to walk outside the house, maybe get a little dirty or hot, maybe even get stung by a wasp. It's easier said than done, but very well worth it. Even more so if it means finding God.

And in this thought process, this growing process, I'm starting to believe that seeking God, being more like that seemingly crazy Man, isn't nearly as hard as I've made it out to be. The hardest parts seem to come when I'm trying to hold on to my 'normal' life. And I've come to think you can't passionately pursue God and live a normal life. I think you should just come to expect funny stares, and rejection. It seems to be what Christ received here on earth as well.
I've also come to see how the difficult times revolve around my desires to hold onto the unGodly aspects of me. I've chosen not to love some people, and it's hard to let go of that decision because doing otherwise seems to be excusing their sin. That reasoning doesn't make my lack of love concerning those people any less sinful though. So,I need help, Gods help, to be boldly kind. To practice kindness - not just in action but in words and thoughts as well - until it becomes instinctive. To be kind without motive, or expectation. And that is one reason I seek so desperately Christ. I want to know Him. To know how He did it.

I'm so grateful for the life I have in Christ. I'm so thankful for what He's teaching me. I'm thankful for His peace and His mercy. And I'm especially thankful for His example. But most of all, I'm profoundly grateful that He chose to dwell in me.

If I have brought a gleam of light
To cheer a darkened day
If I held out a friendly hand
To help along the way
Then in these acts of kindness done,
It is not me you see
But glimpses of that Loving One
That chose to dwell in me.

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