Friday, November 12, 2010

Have Mercy

Greetings and Holykisses,

I kind of hesitate to show you my journal today... because sometimes life lessons are hard. But for whatever reason; I know I'm suppose to share the past few hours here at the Shabby Olde Potting Shed.

While I splashed and dribbled paint, and traced around my hand last night, .... I meditated on words God brought to my mind:
Mercy
Grace
Humility
Surrender
and "Yes LORD."

I traced my hand on two pages, and as I did so, I kept thinking about how we're to be the hands and feet of Christ. Funny; because earlier in the afternoon, as I walked around the pasture; I found myself praying... "Lord, what would you have me to do for you?" How can "i" make a difference? me? As I prayed and walked... I had no great revelation... nor did ideas pop into my head or heart. My mind then started to think of other women I know ... you know; those gals who really make an impact in the world. Then it hit me... But I'm not those other ladies; I'm Leaon. And that comparison game... can really drag you down. Besides; God made us all for specific purposes. --and we all have our own sphere of influence. Realizing I was trodding dangerous ground by comparing myself with others, I switched gears. Reaching for my Ipod; my walk was finished with Praise music instead.

---

This morning I awoke early. It was time to get into the Word. There's nothing like that first jolt of sweet, creamy caffeine... along with some morning BREAD.
Opening my bible ... I read about mercy:
"Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy." Matthew 5:7

Mercy.
Most of us know a particular story in the book of Luke. It begins in chapter 10:vs30
A man who was traveling fell among thieves who stripped him, beat him and left him for dead.
The word says, "And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. "31
"And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side." 32 "But a certain Samaritan as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,"33

~compassion~

This Samaritan went to him. He bound his wounds, poured in oil and wine, put him on his own beast and brought him to the inn and bid thee inn-keeper to take care of him; paying the bill. "Take care of him," he instructed with a promise to come again, and if more money was owed at that time, he would pay that as well.

Opening my journal again... brought the message home.
Yesterday morning, I was one of the religious people once again who seeing a man in need; ... passed by to the other side. And I didn't just do this only yesterday, but I've probably done this with this particular person at least 10 other times before. I don't know his name or anything about him. To be honest, I've seen him as a-bit strange. Why, I don't even know?

I've seen him the most at the grocery store. He's probably 10 years my elder. Maybe that's why I have looked away in passing? Because he's a guy; I wouldn't want to come across as over friendly if ya know what I mean. But we've made eye contact before- direct eye contact: I vividly remember. I think it was after that one direct encounter that I've started turning away? I can't really explain it? But I feel so bad. I've noticed when he buys groceries, that his cart is pretty empty; as if he was buying groceries for one. Good grief... looking back, I realize how much about him I really did notice, and yet chose to directly un-notice him.

And by chance, I came upon him once again at the hospital yesterday. I gave the receptionist my yellow registration paper to check in for my mammogram. She took my name and told me to take a seat. It's a large lobby with many chairs. I chose the little loveseat chairs. That's what I call them, because they're two chairs that are connected. I tossed my purse on the other chair and pulled out my Max Lucado book "Traveling Light." I opened to page 74, and began reading: "Pretty soon we start praying like the fellow at the religious caucus "God, I thank you that the world has people like me. The man on the corner needs welfare--I don't. The prostitute on the street has Aids--I don't. The drunk at the bar needs alcohol--I don't. The gay caucus needs morality--I don't. I thank you that the world has people like me." Fortunately there was a man at the meeting who had deflected all applause. Too contrite even to look to the skies, he bowed and prayed, "God have mercy on me a sinner."

Somewhere in this reading, I glanced up and there he was. The "strange" man I'd seen before at the grocery store. The older man who buys food for one. He had a yellow paper just like mine to hand to the woman behind the desk. He too was there for a test. Another older man was with him, and he'd went and sat down . I tried to keep reading my book, but I was really busy un-noticing the man. He checked in, and without my looking at him, I unnoticed him walk past me, and then he sat down right next to my loveseat chairs. I could have smiled,.... said hello, or even nodded. But I chose to keep my head down. And I realize in writing this now, that although Max didn't say it in his book; my own story could read: " the person sitting next to me is strange, ... but I'm not."

Leeeeann!... the woman called, as she pronounced my name incorrectly.
I was directed through a set of doors to desk 3. This is where you sign in and give your insurance card. I heard the door open again, and the strange man was now at desk 2 getting himself checked in. I could hear them talking and he was there for a colonoscopy. My heart went out to him, immediately when I heard that, knowing from experience what a lousy night he must have put in the evening before drinking the gag-me prep. He was asked for the phone number of a friend or relative that they could call in case of an emergency. He stammered.... with a "No," ... and said he didn't really have anyone to put down. The lady then asked if someone came with him because he wouldn't be able to drive home after his procedure and wondered if she could put them down for the contact number. He reassured her that someone did come with him, but said he didn't want them listed as a contact. -- About that time, my own paperwork was finished and I was pointed to Radiology. I walked past the strange man; again, ..un-noticing. As I followed the arrows to Radiology I thought about him being so alone, and then........I forgot about him.
Until today.

Today, is a new day.
And I'm hoping and praying to get another chance.
God have mercy on me a sinner.
To be the hands and feet of Christ, I can't go on un-noticing.
Loving your neighbor is impossible when you pass them by.

For some reason this person's path and mine have continued to cross.
And I know my judgement of him has kept me from being anything but the hands and feet of Christ.
So I'm repenting and praying for another chance.
Give me eyes to see people
the way YOU see them God.

This blogpost was ended and I drafted it. I'm not sure if it was because of pride, ... timing... or a little of both but nonetheless I clicked draft and headed to town.

Finishing up a my errands; I headed into the store to grab a few groceries.
Turning the corner by the Pharmacy I saw a man in line who looked so much like the dude I was just telling you about. But it couldn't be.* Naaaawww..... -- I went about my business, and grabbed a tube of Crest with Scope and when I came back by, this same man was now turned around. Indeed ... it was him. -- Guess how I reacted?................. I looked away. I'm not kidding you. I didn't smile, or acknowledged him again in any way and he looked right at me and I know he recognized me. I could tell! When I turned around a different isle I seriously wanted to smack myself upside the head. I know with everything in me this person must think I am the strangest? woman on the planet

So I started to pray right there behind Jewelry, "Lord I'm sorry! What is my problem? God, if you give me another shot at this I will give him a genuine smile and I will speak... I really will! -- Before I left the store, my opportunity once again circled! There he was.... just a few feet from me and when he looked into my eyes, I smiled. A real, from the heart, smile... and in passing, I asked him how he was. He said he was doing okay and asked me how I was as well.* It was a brief encounter, but somehow I know the meaning of it all taught me a valuable lesson. This entire story, .... about two strange people sharing a smile and a "how- do- you do" had purpose, and was another step forward in faith.

Lord have mercy.
On me-
A sinner.



18 comments:

Paula said...

My gosh, Lea- that is the most amazing post ever. I had never thought about it that way before... like how many times I think well, at least I'm not____ or whatever else.
Have mercy on me too, Lord.

BECKY said...

Sweetness, you have so touched my heart...again. We all fall so short, and yet He continues to persevere in making us more like Him. Oh Lord, that we may always have ears to hear and obey Thy will.

Who knows what that smile might have meant to him. I had a cashier friend in WalMart, that the Lord had me always talk to and hug every time I saw her. She moved away recently...in with her daughter up north...her husband died. She knew I prayed for them often. Who knows, Leah? We will one day...what a blessing to be part of His story...even when we may not know the why of it all~~except we are being mad to be more like Him. Joy of joys!

Love your heart for Him...love how you shine for Him!! What a delightful blessing you are to me!

Bunches of love!
Becky

♥ Kelley ♥ said...

Oh Lea~what a precious story...
Thank you for being transparent~it isn't easy, I know...
Your post really struck a chord with me and encouraged and inspired me!
Love you!♥

Alleluiabelle said...

Awesome my friend. Absolutely awesome. Word's cannot escape from my mouth right now with the love that I have in my heart for such a beautiful and divine Father...I'm awestruck and speechless when these types of things happen. It's always about Him, isn't it? All for His praise, honor and glory.

Love you,
Alleluiabelle

irene said...

Once again Lea you have opened my eyes.....this could be me and any number of people that I encounter most days in my world. I pray that I will be used by our Lord everyday to reach those around me for Him and that I can with His help overcome the pride that keeps from giving my all for Him. We just never know what something as simple as a smile and a hello can do for those that cross our paths. Thank you most lovely Lea XXOO

Paula said...

It is not always easy to step out into the unknown. One thing I do know for sure. Our Jesus has your back, and with a simple act of obediance can move mountians.

Another thing I found precious about this post is how many times the presented you with the oppotunity to take those steps of faith.

Proud of you My friend. Sending you lots of love. THank you for the awesome post

Rebecca said...

Oh, Lea! Don't you sometimes wonder if "THIS" person might be who Jesus talked about when He answered the people who would say, "Lord, when did we see YOU hungry, or naked, or homeless" (etc.)?

Your journal page was SO beautiful and full of honesty and truth. May your heart continue to be soft, your eyes open, and your hands outstretched to the opportunities to serve Jesus.

Jackie said...

Lea, I was so "into" this account of your experience as I read. Before I neared the "part 2" I was already thinking, I have to tell her to fill us in if the Lord ever brings the strange man to pass her way again. Then you gave us the rest of the story:) Somehow, it was just what I needed to hear this morning. I had just finished my first cup of sweet creamy caffiene with my morning dose of living BREAD when I checked out the blogesphere. I had prayed before doing my morning devotion...."Lord, what do you want me to do for you?" ..."where am I to be used?" Like you, I can think of someone he has put on my heart, not so much in my path, but I keep asking for something else. Today you inspired me to stop and obey. I am making a long overdue phone call today. Maybe then...I can tell you the rest of the story.

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Awesome, you have a divine gift!

From the Heart said...

Thank you for sharing your devotions and inner most feelings. I'm like you. There have been times that I have let people pass and not spoken to them for various reasons. Lately I've really tried to reach out especially to neighbors because I don't get out much. We are His voice and His hands and I repent also for not extending my hand to those in need.
You are so special and awesome.
Love you, my friend, AE

Denise said...

I just about cried with that one.. Such honesty ! There are not many that will reveal their hearts and open up to the sin that we ALL have hiding in our hearts...... I am glad that I am not like the others"

I have had such a humbling experience these past few months to the point one day that I had Googled what sackcloth and ashes actually were.. I was in need of such repentance........ True humbling will not be mistaken for anything else... It brings us home to where we live... and some rooms are NOT pretty......

Denise said...

BUT..... wanted you to know how very beautiful the love for your Father oozed across the page as I read.......

Dee said...

I am very touched by your post. There are so many lonely people who when they get a smile or even a brief converstion with someone feel validated that they are not invisible....I pray that through your post today I will be aware of those around me..and make eye contact and smile. I love the string you put around the finger in your drawing. ♥

littlethings1 said...

Loved your post ! I agree , there are many people out there that can use a smile ! Enjoy your open and honest post. I pray that I too can become more aware of my surroundings and the people in my path !
Have a blessed day !
Eunice

Sunnyside Up said...

My sweet, sweet friend!!! YOU did make me cry with this one! Oh..how many times have I passed by without a glance those around me! Not even a smile...little less a HELLO...too wrapped up in myself that I dont see!! Its me, Me, ME and what would others think!! Sometimes I dont even want to post a comment on here for you...thinking WHAT would "others" think of MEEEEE!!! *Shameful* But today....you opened my eyes! THANK YOU for being SO transparent and sharing this with US! YOU know me and songs...and when I read this I immediatley had the words to Brandong Heaths..."Give Me Eyes" song in my head...so I googled the words & about fainted....

"All those people going somewhere...WHY have I never cared..

Give me your eyes for just one second, Give me your eyes so I can see...EVERYTHING that I keep missing..Give me your LOVE for humanity...Give me your arms for the broken hearted..Ones that are far beyond my reach...Give me your HEART for the ones forgotten...GIVE ME YOUR EYES so that I can SEE!

I've been there a million times
Couple of million eyes
Just moving pass me by
I SWEAR I never thought that I was wrong...
Well I want a second GLANCE
Give me a second CHANCE
To see the way YOU SEE PEOPLE all along..." GIVE ME YOUR EYES!

Lea...this story with the man has not ended yet...God gave you the SECOND chace to have that second GLANCE...

We just never know...never know when we have attended ANGELS unaware!

Love ya friend and thanks for OPENING my eyes!
Char

Anonymous said...

Hello Dear Friend!
This was the most beautiful post! I cried my eyes out.... Thank you for opening my eyes and heart.
Love you, Janie

Anonymous said...

Lea... you will be so glad that you took the time to "see" and say "hello". I missed that opportunity one time... a woman that I thought was different... actually avoided her in a store. And within a week I received a prayer-chain reguest that they thought she had had a stroke and was in the hospital... ended up she had a brain tumor and did not live very long. The regret and anguish that I have felt since that time is so painful. I have never felt so much regret in my life. It has been a lesson I will never forget... open my eyes lord, and help me to "see". Don't ever let the opportunity slip through your fingers to just smile and say "hi"...
I love you and your life-stories Lea. You are the best SIL ever!
Jacki

Simple Southern Happiness said...

Amen dear one, god did make us all different and he does have a purpose for each of us. We sometimes have to stop and get quite and wait. Watch for when you ask God for what is his purpose, he will answer in a BIG WAY!

I took time off to listen to God teach me his Grace and I finally am at peace. I know how you feel when you ask God to use me/us. HOLD ON because he will. The months I took off from blogging and getting still have sure been a learning experience. I am helping other see and how to fill in the blanks to God's purpose. WE have to get still, let all things go in our heart and mind, clear out the cobwebs so the lord can come in and show the way. Also getting into his word each day, even if its just a few minutes. Those words have a calming effect and advise.

I cried all through your post, the is at work here and how awesome this is. I know in time God will show you why he keeps putting this man in your path. I cant say it enough, OUR AWESOME GOD is at work here and he is working through you. YOU DEAR ONE.... YOU!!!

He chose you to work for his glory you will hear from God, "Well Done thy good and faithful servant"... HOW wonderful is that?

I cant wait to read more of your post.

I totally love your journal photo... you are so talented.

God richly bless you.