If only more introductions were this honest...
A few weeks ago, my home phone rang.
I picked it up, looked at the caller ID screen, and saw this.
I didn't answer.
If poorly manufactured products came with a similar label,
we probably wouldn't buy them.
If seedy, greedy potential partners flashed this message across their foreheads,
we probably wouldn't date them.
If preachers and teachers who preached and taught only about the wrath of God,
never touching on the love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness of God,
had these words emblazoned on the big screens overhead,
we wouldn't attend their churches anymore.
Unfortunately, we don't always get such a clear message.
We've gotta keep our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds wide open,
first listening to what others do and say
and then noticing how their words and actions affect our hearts and minds.
I need to listen first and then notice how those things affect my heart and my mind.
I need to make this all more personal.
I have purchased cheap appliances, shoes, writing utensils, clothing, and more -
and had to discard them far sooner than anticipated.
I have been discarded by seedy, greedy partners.
And don't get me started on the wounds I have suffered as a result of the words and actions of past pastors. Don't even get me started!
Even though the "fraudulent call" sign doesn't appear in my life very often,
the warning light in my heart does.
In my mind and my spirit as well.
Saying things like -
"Don't believe a word of this."
"Don't try to fix this. It's not your problem to solve."
"Don't answer that email."
"That's it. I'm done. It's time to go."
"Just say no. 'No' is a complete sentence."
"You said what you needed to say. Now leave it alone."
More often, though, I hear positive messages like this -
"She is safe and trustworthy."
"He is a true friend."
"Listen closely. Then decide."
"Take a chance. Say yes."
"Go ahead, Gail. Do it. Enjoy yourself."
"I am not alone. I am being held and loved."
"Something healing this way comes." (This one is from Jen Lemen.)
"All is well, Gail. All is well. All manner of things shall be well."