The following poem came across my desk this week, and I felt led to share it with you. I look at it daily as a reminder for myself. Right now, our world is frightened.
“If someone is panicking, they’re scared.
If someone is rambling off news headlines, they’re scared.
If someone is angry, they’re scared.
If someone is judging how many groceries others are buying, they’re scared.
If someone is buying all the toilet paper, they’re scared.
Like a child, when someone is scared, they deserve more love, not less.
Remember, we all have the capacity for it and remember that it is endless.
More love not less.”
Many are afraid that there will not be enough and so they are stockpiling. They just aren’t hoarding toilet paper. It goes deeper than that. They are trying to stockpile control.
When we are frightened and unsure, we want to create some semblance of control over our environment. There are a whole lot of people scared right now, and therefore there is a whole lot of people trying to control the behaviour of others. I am NOT talking about politicians, nor am I talking about governments. I am talking about us. You and I and the people we come across at our grocery stores and pharmacies. The people we come across on Social Media, and even our friends and family members we are checking up on via text and phone calls.
Fear does not excuse poor behaviour, but it is not our job to go out of our way to rebuke and chastise such behaviour. It’s our job to love and to defuse difficult situations by being grace-filled without being preachy or condemning. Francis of Assisi said it best. “Preach the gospel, and when necessary, use words.” If you want people to behave better, then model proper behaviour.
Nod and smile at people you come across, especially those people who look the most anxious. A friendly smile slips through social distancing, warming another person’s heart. They’re contagious! You can infect a whole supermarket that way!
Unfortunately, we can infect others with negativity, pessimism, and fear if we don’t practice daily spiritual hygiene. What do I mean by that?
Jesus was like us in all things, except sin. People got on his nerves – even those closest to him. Would Peter ever stop talking about that giant fish that got away? Would John stop being so clingy? Would they all just quit squabbling about seating order and nitpicking about stuff that didn’t matter? Would Matthew ever stop passing on the latest rumours he heard in the marketplace?
As his fame grew, the demands of desperate people who needed his touch pressed in against him. So many people! So many needs. I am sure his heart broke. Being fully God and yet fully human, he simply could not be all things to all people while walking in physical form on this earth.
And then there were the Pharisees, but we won’t go there.
I believe that Jesus kept his heart pure and his attitudes aligned with the intentions of his Father by entering into the secret place. (Bible references) Although he was without sin, he still needed that time of fellowship with his Father God to refresh his spirit and to remind him of his calling.
As I write this, most of us are socially isolated and yet God is calling us to go deeper still, to that secret place of refreshment. It is there we can pour out our hearts without the fear of contaminating others with our irrational fears, irritations, and uncertainties. It is there we are cleansed from the dust we pick up during the day. If we allow God to examine our hearts, we will discover what we need to repent of and to whom we need to apologise. In the secret place, we find nourishment and strength. It is there we are reminded of who we are and what we are given. We will be equipped with all we need to love well and represent his kingdom with excellence of heart.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
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Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden