“I desire compassion & not a sacrifice…”
Disclaimer: this may be long and rambly. I apologize in advance.
My best girl friend Chloe and I have recently decided to start holding each other accountable in our walks with the Lord. We are going to begin skyping about what we’re reading, and about what God is revealing to us in our everyday lives. Anyway, I was talking to her the other day, and asked her if she thought about God during the day. I really meant it to, because you guys…I REALLY suck at it. I definitely make an effort each morning to start out in the Word, and sit quiet before the Lord. However, by the time I’m out of the shower, I have forgotten what I’ve read, and I am immediately in “to do” mode for the remainder of the day.
My mind is VERY active, but that brain activity rarely lands on an eternity focused topic. It usually looks something like this: “Pick up avocados & sour cream after work. When can we hang out with Tim & Lauren? Call Mom. 66 days til Portland!!!! Go sign up for that cool new Delta debit card. Make sure chicken is thawed for soup tonight. Hmm that woman has been looking at our jewelry for awhile… did she just pick something up? Did she just put something in her purse? Is she shoplifting?? Why would she do that?! What do I do?” Seriously you guys… it’s overactive. So, when I asked Chloe if she thought about God during her day, I was a little embarrassed when she replied, “Yes, a lot actually.” After which she admitted that that didn’t mean she prayed constantly, but nevertheless she thinks about Him A LOT during the day? Crap… I got some work to do.
So as I stood at work behind our register I decided to make a very pointed effort to think about the Bible, God, heaven, God’s people, ANYTHING God related. I started thinking about what I read about predestination in Ephesians that morning, and I really just sat in it for awhile. I felt like I zoomed out from my earthly eyes, and put on my God goggles. It seemed as if God pressed the mute button, and I was just a spectator for a few minutes. A girl swept the floor at Merridee’s bakery next door so peacefully, and then I pictured the end of the world, and wondered if THAT girl, THAT soul would be joining me in heaven, or if she’d be left behind to fight for her life in a world left in ash and ruin. Would she regret one day not choosing God? Would she be left begging for another chance, or would she and I be rejoicing in heaven together?
Eyes shifted to the man across the street holding his young daughter’s hand. Does he know my Jesus?? Is his life rich with God’s love? If he lost EVERYTHING, would he have God to turn to? And quite frankly you guys, it BROKE my heart. I didn’t know. I didn’t know the answers to those questions. I’m not sure what these strangers are dealing with. I don’t know where their heart rests. I don’t know if they have a relationship with the same God I do.
I went home that day, and as my usual routine goes, I stopped thinking about it and went about my day. Nick had a writer’s dinner, and afterwards he invited me to join him at the Starbucks on the corner in downtown Franklin (our favorite little spot). At 8:30PM on a warm summery night, we sat sipping our coffee, laughing and catching up on each other’s days. I decided to bring up what I’d been thinking about earlier that day, and almost immediately tears just started SPILLING out of my eyes. I realized that my perspective shift that day had really been from God, and that He lent me His eyes for the day, and how AMAZING is that? I cried with sadness for all of the people I was surrounded by that night who may not EVER know God’s amazing love. People who have hardened their hearts to His calling. People who may suffer an entire life of depression and anxiety, and have NO God to turn to. How heartbreaking. The group of high schoolers laughing at the table next to us, swearing and smoking like it was no one’s business… do they know there’s more to life than this?? Does the family of four enjoying Sweet CeCe’s frozen yogurt know the hope of heaven?
I cried too with joy as it had been a really long time since I had communicated this directly with the Lord. I felt refreshed. “I GET IT!” You know those moments? My mentor Jan back home would call em “Aha moments.” My “Aha!” this week was beautiful and heartbreaking. My loving God desires for EVERY person to come to salvation. He is a God about people. Jesus spent sweet time in fellowship with ALL types of people. He wept with compassion for people who were “missing it.” I just pray that God would lend me His eyes more often, and that I would be more focused on my mission. To love God and love people. Life is SO much more than to do’s, or outfits, or grocery lists. It’s all going to be gone one day, and I want to be able to bring as many people with me as possible to meet the God that made life possible to begin with.
I read this verse this morning, and I pray that it’s my mission this week, and well… forever: “I desire compassion and not a sacrifice.” Matthew 12:7 from Hosea 6:6. I pray God continues to break my heart for what breaks His, and helps me to love people with every ounce of my being.
Love you guys! Thank you for those who continued reading to the end. You’re gems:)
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