A woman sits on a park bench crying. Not sobbing, but softly allowing tears to stream down her face. Some passersby take notice. A young couple pushing their baby in a stroller glance. Unsure about approaching the woman, they awkwardly hurry by. An older woman stops and sweetly tells the woman she’s too pretty to be crying and that she’ll ruin her makeup. Finally, an elderly man takes a seat on the bench with the woman. Such a gentleman, he offers his handkerchief and asks why she’s crying? What makes her so sad?
The woman turns and looks at him with sincere eyes, stating her tears aren’t from being sad or angry. She explained that as she sat on the bench, basking in the sunshine, enjoying the cool spring day, she began to reflect on how much her life has changed for the better; the challenges she’s overcome, the experience of feeling truly loved and the willingness to show compassion and love towards others. The woman went on to say that her life changed when she obtained a deeper understanding of who she is – a child of God, a daughter of Christ her King. The challenges and setbacks she faced in life equipped her to walk out her purpose and be of service to others.
She assured the man there was no need to feel sorry for her because she was finding fulfillment and peace unlike she’s ever known. Who cares about a perfectly made up face when you’re sitting awestruck before a perfect God.
and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lordfor the display of his splendor. – Isaiah 61:3 (New International Version)
Just like we do spring cleaning in our homes, deep clean your mind of the clutter and dirt left behind by past hurts, shame and resentment. Like clearing the cobwebs allows you to see and walk about unobstructed, clear your mind of memories that cloud your judgement and your way. Keep the wisdom gained and sweep the waste to the trash and take it to the curb. Sweep, sweep, sweep!
Open the window to allow the fresh air of forgiveness to rid your house of the stale air. Wash the window of your soul of all the grime that’s accumulated. Attack the clutter by sorting through to keep what is of value, putting it in its rightful place. Wash and polish the baseboards and floors of the dust that has settled.
Now, breathe in deep and smell the clean. Appreciate and bask in the unfiltered sunshine pouring into the room and into your soul.
I’m glad the presidential campaign and election is over because it has been mentally and emotionally stressful and draining. Jaw-dropping and epically horrific to watch and experience is an understatement. On all sides. As a woman, and one of color, the rhetoric and actions of this election cycle have been disturbing and troubling. What comforts and gives me hope in times of uncertainty is remembering and knowing my sustainability is not found in man; it’s found in God.
With that said, I certainly understand, feel and don’t trivialize the fear, dismay and anger by some of my countrymen. For those of us who exercised our right to vote, there is either jubilant astonishment or utter disbelief and outrage. We can’t stay here. What has to happen now goes beyond mending fences; we have to repair the breach and close the chasm caused by this election cycle. For those feeling like they’re holding on to the edge of the cliff, we need to extend a hand to pull them up so they can stand on solid ground. No matter how our opinions differ, we have to respectfully recognize the value in each other.
The words spoken by the president-elect during his acceptance speech were gracious. The real test will be if those words translate and bear out to consistent action. My prayer for him is that he would have the wisdom, will, desire and compassion for the people of this nation and around the world and let that be the motivation behind his actions. Who do we want to be? The world is watching.
How do you look at life — half-empty or half-full? My natural disposition is half-full. When I look back at all that Jesus has done; miracles he has worked in my life and the lives of others around me, reflect on his unfailing love that never lets me go, half-full goes to full. Overflowing, when I allow him to continually fill my cup with his compassion, grace and mercy.
He alone has the ability and capacity to fill the voids and holes in our lives, watering the dry places if we allow it.