Thursday, September 20, 2012

with love as my arsenal

While I was in the shower today - because that's when a girl does some of her best thinking - I pondered a few of the things that've been troubling me...

Every morning, we drive to school and we see this lady.  Miss Crosswalk.  She looks like hell warmed over, pardon my french.  She's mad, grumpy, she yells.  Looks like someone was not so nice to her Cheerios, ya feel me?  Well, by default, my sinful nature wants to mow her down with my car.  I know, that's not nice, huh?  But I don't.  The kids whine and moan about how bitter she is.  And I agree, the look on her face says, "I hate standing here with this dang-dong sign.  Heck, I'll bite your head off, spit it out and stomp on it!  Just try me!"  I've wrestled to gain eye contact with her, but she won't even give me the time of day.  Maybe she's not a morning person?  And luckily, I'm not that mean.

Instead, I'd love to throw my car in Park, jump out and squeeze her tightly (OK, maybe not so much.  I'm just not a hugger by nature.)  I'd tell her we all have struggles, strife and suffering.  I'd steal that STOP sign right out of her hand and give it to the mom in line behind us and I'd scoop Miss Crosswalk up and take her to the cafe and let her spill her guts, telling me all about her anguish.  Even though I wouldn't know what to say to comfort her, I would want her to know that someone cares.  That I see her pain, it's written all over her face like fushia-colored lipstick.  I want to pray with her, to hold her hands and be the tool that God has called me to be.

Realistically, I don't see much of that happening for many reasons (i.e. the lady in the next car isn't going to just pull over and be the crosswalk while we have coffee, and troubles take more than 5 minutes to wade through, coffee or not.)  Surely, I can take baby steps to reach out to her.  They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach but, can I use my God-given talents to spool her in?

Usher in hot chocolate and homemade chocolate chip cookies...

Yes, I have an idea.  Mother Teresa's the only one I've told, so shhh, keep it a secret!  I ran by the dollar store and picked up some throw-away coffee cups with lids.  I want her to know that while I have no idea who she is or what her struggles are, I think of her and her troubles trouble me and that I care and God says we should love our neighbors as ourselves and to share each other's burdens.  And so, I'm gonna love her.

Last night, I read a small portion of Luke and this stuck with me (God always has a plan, isn't it great?!) "But love your enemies, do good to them without hoping to get anyhing back.  Then you will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High God, because he is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin.  Show mercy, just as your Father shows mercy." ~ Luke 6:35-36  It's not that the verse pushes me to do good deeds in return for rewards.  It's what God puts on my love daily.  The feeling when I put myself and anger aside, this is truly "making my motive God's glory" in action. 

Today, we started our official study of Nehemiah and how broken he was for the people of Judah.  My heart breaks for Miss Crosswalk and little Miss K's teacher, Miss Witch (again, not poking fun.)  We continue to pray for Miss Witch every night.  I can't imagine being a sixth grade teacher with all the puberty and hormones flying around in that room.  It's probably like lighting a dozen bottle rockets and watching them bounce off the walls!  Ooooh, I do not envy that poor young lady one single bit.

So, with love as my arsenal, we're making these ladies hot chocolate in the morning (because coffee can be made so many different ways, but hot chocolate's a one way street), accompanied by homemade chocolate chip cookies (they're the best, the Original Nestle Toll House cookies!) and a thank you card for their service.  I pray it softens their hearts and eases their morning.  Even if it's just for a few blessed minutes.

It's awesome, how when you put yourself on the back burner and focus on the hurting people around you, you forget about your struggles and the burden you were carrying's gone.  I love how the Lord works!