Tag Archives: love

An Eye for an Eyebrow

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev. 21:4) NKJ

It was clear when looking in the mirror not too long ago that it was time to do something about my eyebrows.  I am always disgruntled when this revelation greets me in my reflection because I know that inevitably, it will involve some pain. Not nearly brave enough to conquer my own necessary eyebrow maintenance, I weighed my options-some things after all are better left to professionals.

Headed to the mall that day, I remembered that I had previously noted that in one of the small retail kiosks in the midst of the mall there were vendors who offered the service of “eyebrow threading.”  Apparently this is a skillful art perfected in India, where a professional takes a single thread, twists it around your eyebrow hairs, and yanks them out from the root.  The results are supposedly more favorable to waxing because it offers a “cleaner” look with longer lasting results. As well, the sign which proclaimed “less painful than waxing” caught my eye as I passed by.

Already there, I took a moment to stop and purposefully observe the customer who had chosen to utilize this service at that very moment. I noticed that there was no flinching when the thread bearer quickly yanked, accomplishing the necessary task.  In fact, I didn’t notice any of the pained grimacing or tearing up that I was so familiar with in my own personal eyebrow maintenance routine.  Actually, I was amazed and began to become ecstatic at the thought that this peaceful eyebrow grooming experience could actually be mine! Next thing I know I was cheerfully sliding into the cool black reclining faux leather seat, leaning back, and  preparing to experience a peaceful, painless-perhaps even pleasant experience.

It only took a few moments however, for me to begin to contemplate whether the previous customer had either had sensory receptive issues or had been paid well to lure other potential customers into this seat of torture by looking so tremendously at ease during such a tumultuous experience.  The professional “threader” who initially greeted me with such a warm and welcoming smile was now looking rather irritated and frustrated with me as she inwardly grunted, shook her head “no” and had to repeatedly push my hand back down from covering my right eyebrow in an attempt to have a brief reprieve from the immense pain which she was inflicting upon me.  I experienced only a moment of relief when she held the mirror up for me to see the results of her labor..and then the tears came because I realized that I that I still had to sit and endure getting the other eyebrow done.  I was trapped, it was going to hurt-I KNEW it was going to hurt- and all I could do was sit there and suffer with the audience of anyone who happened to be shopping at the mall that day.  I was feeling helpless, vulnerable, and exposed, and all of my feelings were validated by the look I was getting from my new “friend” as she inched toward me preparing to complete the work that she had begun.

There have been many times when I have felt helpless, vulnerable and exposed as I have faced difficult circumstances and walked through hurt as a Believer.  Being part of the Body of Christ means that when we hurt, we do not hurt alone.  Personally, I have the tendency to want to run and hide.   To isolate, so that no one sees me in my weakness.   Those whom we journey with however, who encourage us during the “good” times are there as well when we struggle, when we mourn, when we our hearts are aching. And the truth is, that is exactly the way that the Father intended it to be.

I think that those who love us best during these times are the precious ones who quietly slip their hand in ours and squeeze, letting us know in their gentle and loving way that they are there- for whatever we need- when we are ready. This is the type of friend that I need when I am hurting and hope to be when someone that I love is hurting.

Abba Father, help me to effectively love those in my life who are hurting.  Help me to have wisdom and discernment to know how to encourage, minister to and stand beside those in my life whose hearts are aching.  Help me Father to be a true reflection of you as I gently and quietly listen, encourage and minister hope and truth to those with whom I run beside in this race of life.

 

 

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Filed under friendship, love, Pain, Relationship, The Body of Christ

“I Hate Church People”

not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. 

Hebrews 10:25(NKJV)

That season of life when the day’s schedule was divided into two distinctive chunks of time…before naptime and after naptime. As a stay at home mom of one toddler, nice days usually included morning trips to the park.

It was wonderful to find others who were just as starved for adult interaction and as interested in breastfeeding, teething remedies, and pull-ups as was I.  This was the season of life as well that I began to understand that the Lord was willing to use me wherever I was willing to be used.  I would be purposeful about praying before I got out of the car, asking Him to use me as He was able during my time there that day.

Often I would feel drawn to a particular mom who was just as eager for conversation, or more-so, thankful for a listening ear.  An encourager by nature I often would walk away feeling so blessed by the opportunities He allowed in bringing someone across my path that I could offer an encouraging word, a smile or even a much needed laugh.

One particular woman I encountered appeared tired, frazzled and disheveled all at once, even among the typical mom crowd.  An older preschooler who found joy in tormenting their younger sibling kept her on her toes… as much as she was able with the weight of the baby on her hip.  The little ones swung side by side on the “baby swings” requiring parent propulsion, and she began a conversation with me.

It seemed she had just been waiting for someone to whom she could bare her soul. A broken marriage, dire financial state and consistent family illness overwhelmed her.  She was clearly struggling with feelings of depression and hopelessness.  When I asked her about friends she lamented that most women were so tied up with their own families that they didn’t have time, and even if they did, she didn’t feel that she had anything to offer anyone.

My heart ached for this woman and the normal “it will be okay” didn’t seem sufficient.  New to the promptings of God within my heart I was fairly certain that I was being “nudged” by the Holy Spirit to invite her to church.  Not quite sure how to “get there” and not wanting to mess anything up, I was stealth like with my approach.  “So, do you go to church anywhere?” The tense, awkward pause afterwards was indicative to me that I had failed.

Immediately she met me with suspicious eyes, as if at just that moment she realized that I was incognito as an untrustworthy person who had been trying to gain her affection.  Her one sentence answer was sufficiently clear.  “I hate church people.”

Sensing her emotional conviction, I could tell that this was more than a generic disdain, but rather one that was rooted in a place of hurt and bitterness.  Inexperienced with these types of situations and immediately uncomfortable, I dropped the topic quicker than a freshly washed off pacifier.  Reverting back to casual chat we finished our time together and never saw one another again.

Children of God with similar heart sentiments abound.  Unresolved conflict, jealousy, judgment, pride, insecurities- all tools the enemy utilizes to stir the pot for the purpose of dividing the Body of Christ.

John 13:35 in the Message reads “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

Father, let our love for one another be undeniably evident.  Help us Lord.

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Filed under church, Offense, The Body of Christ

Scare Tactics

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

The smell of French fries lingered while squeals and laughter filled the air.  We were quarantined and confined behind the glass doors which separated those who must dine amidst colorful ball filled pits and twisty slides.

We nibbled on green side salads while stealing one or two of the grease entrenched goodies left uneaten by our distracted dates. The social norm of don’t talk to strangers was now exchanged for “play nice with your new friends…”

All was lovely until one mom decided it was “time to go.”  Every mom in the room involuntarily stiffened and without saying a word we collectively pooled our strength, resolve and determination as a joint offering to the mommy in question.  Together we stand, mommies of preschoolers Unite!

A novice she was not as her tactics were clearly well planned.  Having previously withheld the coveted plastic wrapped toy, she now offered it as a bribe to leave. The daughter, no novice herself, had somehow already caught wind to what was going down and as soon as her dirty bottomed feet hit the floor we caught only a glimpse as she scurried back up the impossibly steep climbing tube never intended for anyone over the age of 25 or taller than 3 ½ feet.

With raised eyebrows a forced Cinderella pitched voice that had undertones of “if you don’t come right this second you are really gonna get it” escaped from the mom. With bravado and spunk the four year old faced off with her mother through the thick plastic of the highest tube bubble and giggled.  One could faintly hear the whistling of Old Western dueling music in the background.

Desperation spread across the mother’s face.  The child was in control of when they were going to leave; she knew it, the child knew it and every mommy in there knew it.  All tact aside the frustrated mom began to lose composure.  First, counting in the ominous tone; One….two….three….  She could have counted to one hundred, the girl was indifferent.  Then “If you don’t come right now I am going to throw away your toy.”  For a second this caught a fearful glimpse but her daughter quickly decided the power in her possession was more enticing than a pint sized plastic pony. Finally, the mother, obviously infuriated and powerless had reached her limit and said in a tone indicating that she had already won, “okay, FINE, I’m leaving.”  She aloofly walked out of the door and pinned herself against the wall on the other side out of sight to her daughter.

After a minute or two the four year old looked a great deal smaller as the question of “was mommy serious” turned to the recognizable fear of “mommy was serious.”  Frantically scuttling out of the tubes and down the slide she was crying and hysterical as she ran out of the play land screaming “Mommy! Mommy!”

There have been many times when I have resembled that stubborn child, remaining in a standoff of obedience with the Lord.  In these times I am so very thankful that He never threatens me with abandonment.  Instead He is longsuffering and waits patiently for me to choose obedience…as long as it takes.  Even when my own disobedience causes me pain He comforts me and loves me through it.  Romans 2:4 states Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?  I am thankful that my Abba will never leave or forsake me.  No matter what.

Father, thank you for your compassionate mercy.  Thank you for loving me and never abandoning me even in the midst of disobedience. 

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Filed under Analogies, Faith, My Father's Daughter, Trust