Tea, anyone? Thanks to the church lady who handed me a tea bag this past Sunday! It gave me the “lift” I needed!
On Sundays, while “Greeting” the flock as they arrive amidst the hurly-burly of finding their places, we sometimes get people’s opinions, and sometimes we might get their attitudes, and yes, sometimes we might even get one of those looks that says it all (which all three of these can cause us to have our own disturbing attitude).
During my years as a pastor’s wife, I was offered all kinds of tips: how I should discipline my children, what I needed to inform my husband about, how I should spend my money, and most importantly, alerting me to their belief that we were ruining our kids by homeschooling. Criticism doesn’t reside only in the church, families can also be quick to inform you if you have need of their “more” insightful way of doing things. But that’s when we need to remember Whom we answer to in the first place! The Redeeming Love Who calls us to UNITY (John 17) has graced us with spiritual fruits (Galatians 5:22-23) that need to be fertilized or even plucked at times to promote more growth in our character (John 15). May we never forget, “As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). When you sharpen a pencil, you shave off the wood (the superfluous part) so that the graphite is exposed (the part that is usable). As we are being “sharpened” into the image of the Son, Jesus Christ, the superfluous is whittled off exposing the valuable. I want the valuable to be exposed in my life!
Nevertheless, there are times when you walk into church feeling like a “heavyweight.” Maybe you were unable to dump the load of Stress before you walked in the doors, or a disturbing Attitude followed you in, or maybe you have been fighting a burdensome Health issue and the weightiness of it all is pounding in your ears. So, when you are the recipient of a thoughtful gesture, your spirit is lifted!
This past Sunday, a cold made me feel weighed down. You know the feeling: your ears are stopped up, your nose is stuffed up, and unfortunately for you, your energy level isn’t anywhere up, but down. Dragging yourself in to greet others can look ridiculous but you do it anyway, trying to keep your stuffed-up nose from running all over the place (paradoxical, huh?), and trying your best not to share what others don’t want.
For the most part you are greeted from afar, which is fine. However, there are those who need some information so they come closer at risk of their own health. And then there are those with their “many tips for getting over a cold” like you may be new to all of this (how old am I anyway?!?)? There really are a lot of good meaning people wanting to help and wanting to see you get better.
But, when my nose stops running and decides to breathe again, I’m going to hug that church lady around the neck! I’m going to thank her for asking how my husband was because she saw his name on the church prayer chain, and when finding out he had shared his sickness with me, reaches into her purse and pulls out a lemon/ginger Twinings Tea bag and hands it to me, without any tips!
What has someone done for you recently that caused you to feel “lifted-up”?
Are you “lifting-up” someone today?