periphery

shameful and ironic airport encounter – exhausted and busy from missions training and parched from three days without any real personal devotional time, i irritably brushed a lady off after she asked me (in chinese) if i could help her. i don’t know what she needed help with, because i was too busy getting to the bathroom. as i entered the bathroom a huge wave of guilty unease came over me. Lord, how is my heart so cold? how can i spend so many hours a day sharpening my understanding of your mercy and yet remain so sickeningly selfish? it’s offensive to Him that i am unwilling to spare a minute of time and energy when He has gifted me so lavishly (and i have been made especially aware of this in the past few weeks). i was so troubled that i forgot my need to pee, but something in my heart turned and i was full of relief and grateful praise. in that moment (still in the bathroom…one wonders that i didn’t miss my flight) i remembered the blessed truth — that my salvation has NOTHING to do with me or what i do. an odd moment and occasion for such a fundamental truth to come into such sharp focus, but the effect has not been lost.

and yet i am still warned. similar encounter last week, on a rushed and anxious morning last thursday because i had two hours to accomplish a zillion errands. i was grumpy because we were fasting. i walked past a man outside mcdonalds asking for food & felt a prompting/urge to get him something…and ignored it, because my reflex was to be annoyed and resentful. JESUS I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS. and while i don’t think it’s always necessary or appropriate to share money/food/time with people, i know that the posture of my heart was totally off, and i know He was speaking to me about that. i sheepishly walked into mcdonalds, bought a steak & egg biscuit, and walked out again – only to find that the man had vanished. i felt so silly carrying the bag of food around for the next hour or so, looking for someone to give it to (especially since i was fasting and had no use for it anyway).

well. there are so many other instances of Him awakening me to see my lack and my sin, but i am desperately-confidently hoping that He is making me new. i know He is.

there’s still a gap between realization and transformation. what are you gonna do about it? all day today i have been thinking DTS DTS DTS (= Die To Self)…come alive in Christ! duh. and it’s going to be awkward and sore-muscles-y and all that…duh. DUH. invite friends and get out the festive napkins because JESUS BRINGS THE PARTY.

listen more, watch more. today i paid attention to all the people who annoyed me and WOW there were so many. the guy who was rude to my dad. the lady who sent a message that really upset my mom. the showoff / poser on socialmedia. crazy people completely off their rocker that i read about in the news. and about ten million other people for ten million reasons (most of them petty and unreasonable). and in response Jesus says GREAT! NOW LOVE THEM ABUNDANTLY AND PRAY BIG PRAYERS FOR THEM. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT I DO FOR YOU.

five days. my goodness. more than half a year since that momentous November morning.

this week is such a Big Mercy. giving praise giving thanks.

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