I spent years in prayer asking for compassion, mercy, miracles and healing over one that was very clearly “the least of these”.. – a man who had been struck down to a place of loss that I can only imagine, walking through a set of shoes that I have zero idea what it’s like to stand in. I cried so many tears watching his struggles and feeling the breaking of my heart in every moment of everyday.
This morning I was reminded of the Christmas season in 2017 when I took Josh out shopping. He was so excited to go shopping for the kids and he was even more excited to shop for the families that we were able to adopt for Christmas – all the kids that we received Santa lists from – kids who had parents who were struggling and they didn’t have a source to receive gifts that year. I cried and prayed throughout the day watching the way others looked at Josh or didn’t look at him was maybe a better way to put it. He got trampled a few times in his wheelchair – bumped and kicked and even we had one woman tell us off because it was taking me too long to turn the wheelchair around inside of the elevator and she was in a hurry in the Christmas rush that most people are in with just a few days left to shop. I’m not sure why she was on the elevator in the first place, she appeared to be 100% healthy and could’ve used the stairs or the escalator (I thought to myself). I was so heartbroken watching how we treat someone in his condition. No regard for how it felt to be in his shoes – no compassion. It’s as if everyone was unconscious – going through the motions in a sleepwalk states of their own troubles, schedules and shopping lists.
Why did this memory come up? Because I received a message this morning from someone who needed to be paid for a service. This man told me that Josh (my ex-husband now) told his front desk that I would be making payment for the services rendered that he approved. So this man messaged me on Facebook asking me when I was going to take care of that bill my ex-husband had accumulated.
My immediate reaction… I was furious. My thoughts immediately went into a place of offense and anger as I thought SOME NERVE he has to think he has the authority to expect me to pay for things he is doing for our son. He didn’t ask me first. I knew nothing of this. I started to respond in the heat of the moment and then suddenly I got a phone call that interrupted my typing into the cell phone. It was a good phone call – a little wink from God that he’s working out a prayer request that I’ve been struggling with for months now.
When I got off the phone I felt terrible – anxiety and nervousness that I didn’t understand. I sat down and started praying and all I could feel was this heaviness of guilt, but I didn’t understand why. I started thanking God for answering the small prayer that I received today and then suddenly it seemed like a floodgate opened and I could see all of the big prayers that he’s answered for me – the ones in my past that I cried so many tears over I could’ve filled an entire ocean. Have I really forgotten what God has done for me? Have I really moved on to a place of such selfishness in my own heartbreak and anger over things that didn’t work out for what I WANTED or thought was in my favor – or for love that I thought I deserved from others? How could I forget what God has done for me? How massive his grace has been in pouring out miracles in front of my very eyes in response to the deepest requests of my heart?
Today I was the one with no regard for “the least of these”…. I was the one without compassion for a man who is doing his best to walk inside of shoes that I have no idea what it’s like to fill – the very same man I once defended with everything inside of me against a world that’s cold in the heart matters of those who don’t function as they may – the ones in wheelchairs holding up the lines or taking too long to move from place to place..
I cried in disgust and I’m still disgusted with myself as I type this. Apparently, I only knew how to defend and to love “the least of these” if they weren’t hurting me. When they do something that doesn’t agree with what my flesh wants or what feels good to my ears or falls comfortably on my heart then I turned cold.
Father please forgive me, I knew not what I was doing…. Forgive me for being so selfish in putting my focus only on my wants and needs and what has hurt me to the extent that I became blind to the circumstances and even the reality of what another’s capabilities are…. Father, please forgive all of us who treat others unkind without any idea what they are facing today, how they are feeling today, what’s going through their minds, unaware of their struggles or even if their brains are in proper alignment with conscious choices – for judging and feeling offense when we don’t know what types of hurt and heartbreak and mental, physical or spiritual imprisonments another may be locked inside of today. Father please help us to give mercy to others because Lord we need mercy… I need mercy so badly today.
Note: This heart breaking has been going on for a few days and I recorded this testimony on the roof the other night in prayer for this person I’m speaking of after learning that he was ill. It’s amazing to me how quickly all of the anger and strife and division between people is destroyed when you find out that the other person is in pain and you go to the throne asking the Lord to heal them and help them…. I needed a heart check in a big way and I need them to keep coming because I’m exhausted with feeling disgusted by my own thoughts, words and actions that I’ve been subscribing to for quite some time. I’m not condoning the idea that others should be allowed to trample over me or treat me unkind, but in no circumstances should I lash back, talk about someone or allow anger and bitterness to penetrate my heart. The truth is, I don’t have the strength to overcome this. I need Christ to walk with me and wrap me in his perfect peace. I’m thankful today for this revelation.