Monday, September 12, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I spoke with someone a few weeks back. Someone who is so thoroughly unhappy with her life, she is willing to destroy the lives of those around her. She begrudges even her own family the smallest bit of comfort and, with intent and calculation will poison the well of anyone else she suspects of being satisfied. It truly is sad. I began praying for this woman even more than I’d been praying before. I began asking God for a way to love her as He does.
“God, I can’t imagine being as small and spiteful as she has been. I can’t imagine deeply hurting those I love because of my own insecurities, as she has. Therefore, Father, I can’t begin to relate; I can’t begin to understand her thoughts. And while I can pray for her, I am having a very hard time loving her. Please help me.”
Yeah, I know just a little self-righteous, but I really could not see myself as being anything like that, and I genuinely wanted to find some common ground so I could pray as effectively as possible, empathize with her and get a feel for how I should pray.

Heading off to a long Saturday morning at work, I quickly scoured my shelves for some reading material. I came across a workbook I’d picked up, “Who Calls Me Beautiful?” It’s Regina Franklin’s path to “Finding our true image in God.”
Five hours later…
Chapter One – “List three areas of physical beauty – according to the world’s standard – that you feel you lack.”
Then – “Identify one of your deep spiritual longings.”

“Really,” I thought to myself. “You can’t think of one?” 

Now, I know I have deep spiritual longings; I know I can name them, but I was distracted by that fact my physical imperfections had been right there, front and center, but the spiritual…?  I suddenly realized just how much I am like "her."   

How often do I take things personally and lashed out, because I am not OK with seeing that quality in myself?  How much time have I spent critiquing my legs instead of wearing that dress that Scott loves?  Is my relationship with God the priority that it should be, or am I too busy worrying about superficial things?  Have pettiness and jealousy caused me to open my mouth, ruining a perfect moment with my husband?  Wasn't it just a few weeks ago, I sat in church obsessing over the run in my stocking?  When a friend wanted to spend some time discussing the sermon later...?  How often do I bow my head in prayer, only to find minutes later I'm thinking about what I should have said at the last fund raiser?  or worse, what that nut job from HR did say?  Aren't I just as bitter and frustrated as "she" is when I set off to find happiness in anything without Jesus?  When I come up empty, have I ever rained on anyone else's parade to salve my wounds?   

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness..." -- Matthew 6:33

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