The lady at the checkout greeted me with the obligatory "How are you today?" as my handful of grocery items ran through the register. As I was in a hurry to get home, I quickly replied, "I'm doing alright, thanks." I smiled. She smiled. I ran my card, and was on my way.
As I loaded my groceries into the back of my car, the thought crossed my mind: That gal has no idea what a crazy day I'm having, how overwhelmed I feel, how much I'm struggling with patience-- how I'm attempting to homeschool, feed my family, and keep up with laundry in a home that is under major reconstruction...while living in it with five young boys. "Alright" just doesn't really cut it.
But no sooner did I finish that thought when another thought countered: I have no idea what kind of day she is having either! Does SHE feel overwhelmed at the mess she has at home?...a mess like mine...or perhaps an emotional one?
That person in the next checkout lane could be facing a health crisis. The neighbor across the way could be struggling financially. The person that just cut you off could be worn out and hopeless, wondering what all his hard work is really amounting to. That friend who hasn't called you back could be overwhelmed...in a remodel or a remodel of the heart.
I can be so egocentric, looking only through the lens of my own challenges, circumstances, and messes. Walking in another's shoes doesn't always come naturally. It takes training.
It takes training of the eyes to notice another's countenance. It takes training of the lips to ask questions that matter. It takes training of the ears to hear beyond the usual niceties. It takes training of the hands to offer help and comfort. It takes training of the heart to think of others as works in progress just like yourself.
As it is the work of God to mold us in his likeness day by day, these facets of compassion and brotherly kindness accompany our sanctification. It is not the job of a pastor or minister to care for the hurting and pray for a neighbor; it is the ministry of every believer.
"'And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
All of our daily challenges and circumstances are for but one purpose only...to drive us to love our God more fully.
So, sister-friends, love God and love your neighbor (and those in the checkout lines) as yourself this day, and let the bumps and hurdles of your everyday be the springboard from which you can dive into the waters of blessing, relationship, and ministry in another's life!
Now let's link up in community...
Welcome to GraceLaced Mondays, a link up dedicated to sharing any and all blog posts by like-minded lovers of grace--God's grace! Grace is found in the everyday when you are intentional about taking note of it...and I invite you to share your story, great or small, of how everyday moments are full of Grace.
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