This week, being the anniversary of my daughter, Kristin Short's homegoing, I have decided to dedicate this article to her memory and the passion she died with: To love the unlovely, the downtrodden, the outcast and seemingly the "lost cause."
Sitting in my counseling office, I heard a song that fit so very well: It is titled "Jesus Friend of Sinners" and was written by Mark West and Mark Hall. It is sung by Casting Crowns, one of my favorites bands.
It begins by expressing our own high and mighty attitude toward others. We are all guilty of it from time to time.
May we become more like Him and see the heart and not the actions. If I've learned anything in my 49 years, it is that things are not always as they seem. Walking a mile in another's moccasins, as the old Indian proverb suggests, brings fresh perceptive and eliminates judgment. Also, realizing full well that could certainly be us in another's shoes given different circumstances and choices.
I wonder if Jesus would walk the earth as he did 2,000 years ago, if He would be comfortable in some of our churches? Our homes? Our company? How we talk, and how we treat the downtrodden or those entrenched in drugs and alcohol, promiscuity, speaks volumes of our hearts.
I've heard that others do not care how much we know until they see how much we care. I've seen this be true.
One thing that God hates (says so in his Word) is a proud look. He goes so far to say that "Pride cometh before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." When pride moves in, a fall is inevitable. That's why so many in the public eye tend to fall left and right. If we do not see that every single good thing that comes our way is of Him and by Him, we will fall. It's a given, the question is not "if," it is "when."
Renewing our minds with the Word is key to maintaining perspective of a hurting world. "Checking" our thoughts, words and actions when we begin to "puff up" is crucial in keeping short accounts with God. The knees is a good place to begin again when pride steeps in.
I will close with a journal entry from Kristin, July 25, 2008, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." Matthew 16:25
"Loved! Then the way will not be drear; For one we know is ever near, proving it is to our hearts so clear that we are loved. Loved when our sky is clouded o'er, and days of sorrow press us sore; still we will trust Him ever more, for we are loved. Time, that affects all things below, can never change the love He'll show, the heart of Christ with love will flow, And we are loved." KLS
She continues: "Dear Jesus, sometimes I just wish You could take me in your arms and hold me close. I wish I could look into your eyes, and see how much you love me. Oh, I know you do love me! Calvary tells me of such deep love I cannot even begin to comprehend, the Bible is the best love letter in the world, not to mention how you take care of me and work in my life. My Jesus, please hold me close to Yourself! Tomorrow will make 15 years since I accepted you as my Savior (July 26) and accepted your free gift of salvation, and I wanted to thank you for everything! And, if dying for me wasn't enough, you take such personal interest in me! When I hurt, you're there to comfort me, when I cry, You are there to dry my tears. And, when my heart breaks, You are there to mend it. My Abba, I love You, I praise you!" All my love and life, Kristin Short
A thankful heart and a remembrance for what He has done for us should compel us to allow Him to shine through us to others who are hurting. Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours.
(Kimberly Morgan, MA, is a wife and homeschool mom in Elkins. She also is a counselor at Cornerstone Christian Counseling and Kristin's Hope. Reach her at 304-637-1109.)