Gracefully Truthful

Accepted,Community,God,Gospel,Hope,Jesus,Love,Promises,Purpose,Relationship

Read His Words Before Ours!

Genesis 16:13-14
Genesis 21:14-21
Luke 8:43-48
Luke 10:36-37

Imagine you are Hagar and have just been excommunicated from your community. 

You and your only son.  

You have fulfilled your duty to bear a son for your master, but in so doing, you opened the door for strife with your master and his wife, leading to your banishment from the community.  

You are alone, and terrified for your son. 

How will you care for him? If you can’t find food, will you be forced to watch him die?  

And then the Lord comes to you and promises He will care for the boy and make him a nation. You are overwhelmed with relief.  

El Roi.  
The God who sees.  
The God who sees me.  

The God who sees my pain and heartbreak, and promises to care for me. He gives me hope.

Now, imagine you are the woman in Luke 8:43-48. You’ve suffered from a bleeding disorder and been deemed an unclean outcast for as long as you can remember. Your family has exhausted all resources, to no avail.  

Then one day, Jesus comes to town and changes everything! You take a risk, touching the hem of His robe, and you are healed! But that’s not the best part . . . 

Jesus finds you, looks in your eyes, and SEES you, calling you daughter!  

Imagine, after years of avoiding public places and bearing the title UNCLEAN, you are free! How good it feels to be seen! And given hope!

Now, let’s consider our own stories. Who do we encounter every day? Who, within our spheres of influence, desperately needs to be seen? Who needs to hear the hope we have within us?

Think about the student who always sits alone at lunch. The one who appears confident, trying to look like isolation is a choice. The one who eats quickly and retreats to the library.  

What if you said hello? And the next day, said it again?
What if you simply acknowledge you see her? 

Then one day, you ask if you can sit with her. Ask her about herself, her interests or hobbies. Is she in band? Into art? Sports? What does she like to do for fun? What are her hopes and dreams? 

Think about the mom in Target who always looks put together, yet exhausted as she struggles to keep her children in the cart. Can you see the stress in her face if you look closely enough?  

Maybe smile and say hello. And the next time you see her, thankful for a little respite from your own crazy life, smile and greet her again, looking into her eyes to show her she is seen.  

A friend shared a story of a seasoned mom who, while shopping, would frequently approach frazzled moms of young children. Instead of showing disapproval, she’d offer a hug and say “Is there anything I can help you with today?”  

Imagine how refreshing it would feel to be offered support, instead of judgment! Instead of a censuring glance and a shake of the head, you experienced grace

You feel seen.  
And accepted
And hopeful.  

Picture the couple in the stands at the football game who are cheering for their child, but barely speak to each other. Their tension is obvious.  

What if you just begin with a smile, sharing observations about the game, and eventually build a relationship in which you share the hope you have in Jesus?  

I often fly through my time in public with a single purpose: to accomplish what needs to be done as quickly as possible so I can get to the next thing on my list. I try to stay on task with efficiency, which is great . . . unless I miss the people God’s placed in my path along the way. People who need encouragement, who need me to see them as He sees me.  

One practical opportunity I’ve found to share His love is going to a cashier instead of the self-checkout lane. Honestly, as an introvert, I prefer to get through as quickly as possible, without chatting and losing my focus on the task. Yet, I have found it more satisfying to slow down and see the one who is providing me a service. 

He invites me to share in His primary purpose, drawing others into relationship with Him.  Jesus is the only One who can save, yet He sends me to love others, introducing them to the hope I have in Him. 

What if we made a conscious effort to notice our neighbors, praying before we leave the house for God to show us who He wants to bless through us? Who would He have us greet, in order to build a possible friendship that may eventually lead to sharing the hope of the Gospel?  

I still have much room to grow, but I am hopeful God will choose to use me in His grand adventure! I hope you will join me!

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Choose Me,El Roi,encouragement,friendship,God Sees,Hagar,healed,Seen
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