Hmmm, what is that trying to get out these past several weeks? I’m pretty sure it’s a “post”; an entry into my public journal – but just what is it that “it” wants? I wrote a post a few weeks ago about the overwhelming emotions behind the Gift of Compassion; how I always cry in the presence of others’ pain. Recently I’ve been listening to Chuck Swindoll’s lessons from Ecclesiastes. Very good. Adrian Rogers is talking about setting up false idols, either emotionally or actual physical ones. I must admit that I heard pride in my thoughts yesterday. I asked for forgiveness immediately, but it gives me pause to think…what else is there?
Last Sunday there was a memorial candle-lighting at church. Several folks got up and lit candles and said the name of the person they wanted to remember. I wanted to light one for Melanie, and one for Grandmother, but I didn’t. I guess it was just too personal. But a couple, whom I had always thought were married, got up and lit a candle in honor of the man’s wife, she lit one for someone else. I remember sitting there watching that, and thinking – that’s not right, I’ve missed something. Then, there she was, standing in the choir, bravely singing for all she was worth, with tears just streaming down her face. I have to admit, it got to me so badly that I had to actually get up and leave for a few minutes while I gathered my composure. At the end of the service, that couple was sitting just two pews up (which is odd, because they usually sit in the next section over); I was prompted by the Holy Spirit’s call to go comfort her. Now see, here it is: I thought I was going up to comfort and share with my Sister in Christ, the emotions brought on by the Gift of Compassion. That’s what I said to her, that was my meaning – to take her pain and her tears and mine, and re-distribute them more equally between us, so that neither of us had to spend the entire day working through that. Then, it happened. Someone else joined us and started talking to this sweet woman whom I was “sharing” with; comforting her and sharing about the loss of her own mother. It suddenly hit me, that’s not his wife – That’s His DAUGHTER! Oh my. (Now don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t look “old”, he just looks fairly middle-aged, not like “a father” of a fully-grown woman). The reality rolled over me — I had been mistaken about The Spirit’s intent and purpose for sending me to her – I thought I was sharing and redistributing my own tears, but I was comforting. And then, it all hit me like a ton of bricks — Blessed are the poor in spirit; LORD, please allow me to be a comforter rather than to be comforted; those who are last shall be first. I’ve been so “into” my own self and thoughts lately, that I think I’ve lost sight of my actual purpose – The Great Commission — oh I mean well. I usually, almost always, mean well. And then as I ponder, I begin to hear again – the words of Pastor Swindoll,
Here is an excerpt from his Introduction to Ecclesiastes:
- Solomon says we are born with the need to satisfy our spiritual hunger, to find our purpose and value. If we born with a need, there must be way to satisfy it. If there is no hope under sun, then the only hope must be above it.
- C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
I hope that, if you get a chance to listen to even one of his podcasts on this subject, that you will be as affected and struck by it as I was. May GOD’s peace be with you, may HE turn his face toward you. And may we all strive to console, rather than to be consoled.