People are being destroyed all over the world, daily; atrocities of all sorts that are mainly due to race, continues to threaten lives. What a shame, what a mess we're in.
Since the color of my skin bars me from being entitled to justice, fairness, consideration, respect, opportunities, and the proper application of the law, what's left? It seems to me that from the beginning of time, we have been targeted with one sole purpose in mind, and that is to annihilate the
I find it mind boggling, that what God saw was good, has now become an endangered specie. For the most part, one single race has determined that we have no right to not only belong, but to be alive. Things on this earth will never get better, let's just understand that. The bible clearly states it.
I have lived long enough to see what's important to see, and I've also experienced some horrific stuff. If I ask Christians the question, "Where can man be safe"? I'd get the text book response like, "Only in Jesus"! I agree whole heartedly, but that should not be the only place!
This morning I read the account of Saul when he was consenting to the death of Stephen. When Saul had that Damascus road experience, he became a changed man, for real. It took a minute for Christians to be able to trust that there was a true conversion, but the Holy Spirit of God helped them to cast away their fear of Saul. It was like night and day. Saul, who became the Apostle Paul, was changed from the inside out. That's what true conversion means and looks like.
So...the world is killing us off at an alarming, rapid rate, either that, or locking us up. In different parts of the world, some are being persecuted and separated from loved ones because of their faith. Others of us are being killed during church service.
In the meantime, while these things are happening, our local churches, or assemblies, have become less and less of a safe space. I don't know about you, but the world is a very dangerous place and within the church walls, some of us have taken on the attitude of the unregenerate man. We handle the Lord's Holy things, and one another, with lips that say one thing, while our actions speak to another. There is prejudice, injustice, maligning, lying one to another, verbal assaults, sowing discord, and hatred among some. Does that sound like a safe space to you?
If a safe space cannot be found within the church walls, with those who say they are the Lord's, where can it be found? People will only stay where they are wanted and treated with the utmost respect. How do you define, 'Conversion' and What are you doing to help create a safe space for others?
I support small home groups where bible study takes place, and heart felt and honest exchange can be had. You can really get to know people in that type of setting as well as be ministered to where you need it the most. Perhaps we need to get back to the basics in Christianity. The world has us running a rat race that has resulted in our lack of true fellowship, and love and care of one another; and these things aught not to be so!
My great aunt shared a profound thought with me seven years ago, right before she passed away. I have always had great appreciation for the elderly. Over the years, I have learned the most from them. "Patricia, always look to see what's behind the counter", she said. Aunt Willie went on to explain that what we see in the showcase window looks so beautiful. The glass case displays the item under the bright light, with other items around it, with the velvet cloth that it sits on, etc. She went on to say that when you examine a thing up close, it doesn't look the same as it did in the showcase window.
That was my last life lesson from my aunt that hot blistering day in Atlanta Georgia. Although we have had other deep conversations, I will always remember that one.
How often do we look behind the counter? Do we examine people, situations, or things for purchase with a close eye or can we even identify what we are really looking at? Is what we're looking at authentic, genuine, made with integrity, and exquisite?
Failure to look behind the counter will cost us every time! When we fail to pay close attention to what a person is saying, or what they didn't say that they should have said, we're putting ourselves at risk for either a broken relationship, or a loss along the way. Ask yourself, "Did you see what you saw?"
With the busyness of things around us in this sick and fast paced world, we sometimes don't take the time to look deeper into what people are actually saying to us. They speak with reactions, responses, the lack thereof, negative language, facial expressions, and a host of other types of communication. Some of us will run something said to us by a trusted friend, expecting them to decipher the code of another's words to us when we know deep down inside, in the back, in the corner, in the dark, in the booth, they meant us no good.
After looking behind the counter, are you prepared to turn that item upside down, all around before you invest in it, or do you just pay for it and run out the store? Did you examine it closely to see if it was really what you wanted?
I have learned to ask the questions that need to be asked, and there were even times I took the item back to the store the next day or that same day asking for a refund.
Let's take the necessary time to evaluate everything in our lives before we make a commitment. Before you call someone your best friend, give it time to be tested. If the other person runs away, let them! Never be so desperate, that you settle for something that will eventually hurt you, disappoint you, or cause you loss and grief in the end!