Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Prayer for Humility

A Prayer for Deliverance from False Desires and Fears:

...Dear Jesus, grant me the grace
to desire that others might be more loved than I,
that others might be more esteemed than I,
that in the opinion of the world,  others may increase and I decrease,
that others may be chosen  and I may be set aside,
that others may be preferred to me in everything,
that others may become holier than I, provided that I, too, become as holy as I can.

- Common Prayer, Shane Claiborne, Jonathon Wilson-Hartgrove

Monday, February 24, 2014

God's in front of me everyday.

"C.S. Lewis once surmised that each person is created to see a different facet of God's beauty - something no one else can see in quite the same way - and then to bless all worshipers through all eternity with an aspect of God they could not otherwise see." - John Ortberg

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." - Thomas Merton

I see God in front of me everyday. I see His face, His character, His joy, His tears, His vulnerability, His encouragement, His power, His love, in the pieces of Himself that he has planted in the people who enter my life. Whether they know it or not, the image of God is implanted in each and every person on Earth. And what a beautiful treat when He makes Himself known through each of them, in their stories, in their perspectives, in the ways that they worship, the care they pour out, the wisdom they share, the delight they bring.

Not all seeds have the soil, the sunshine and the water to grow. But it does not mean that the seed is not present, or that the face of God is not evident in them. I can still see beauty in the souls of people who don't know Christ - but I see a soul who has yet to realize its full worth and potential and meaning in the eyes of a Creator, a King, a Redeemer, and a Father who loves them so deeply and wants them to plant their roots in Him, to graft themselves into the vine - who is Christ. Indeed, God is waiting anxiously for the seed to bloom, and what a beautiful thing it is when they do!

I have felt so blessed lately to find God so present in my life, through friends, through family, through the churches in my city that are living out the gospel. I see God in all of them, and am humbled and a bit in awe of how He is so present in my life.

I find it easy to get overwhelmed - to think that decisions and leadership and big life events are all only in my hands. It's easy to get conceited, to not listen to others and forget that you are not the only one with important things to say. My goal has become to let others become more, so that I can become less. And it is incredibly difficult - like a wanna-be-gardener without a green thumb - but keeping that in mind does certainly put a different lens in my glasses,

When we forget to listen, when we lose sight and recognition of God's face in others, we are actually not respecting & turning away God. He's chosen people to show Himself through. They are His body, and it is healthiest when all its parts are respected, supported, encouraged, loved, and fully brought into community in equality with one another.

And so we can never say that God is not visible. He's in the face of everyone around you, and what a beautiful - albeit broken - reflection they are.

You may have to look just a bit more carefully and be a bit more patient before it all becomes clear. But you can count on the fact that He's there, waiting for the seed to blossom.