I hadn’t really ever noticed it before, but now it was really starting to bug me.
I looked at the text in my hand, and noticed how she had phrased it. I laid my phone down and pulled out of the parking lot, still puzzled by what I suddenly wanted to say, and how strong it was. I waited at the red light, turn signal blinking.
I knew I was hearing the Father, and I knew I needed to say something.
Suddenly, I saw something else in my own life I had never seen before. A roadblock I had always felt but never understood.
In the past, when my heart saw something standing in the life of another that concerned me,
something I wanted to call out and speak to,
I would freeze. Spirals of insecurity would start twisting inside of me.
I would ponder for weeks, stewing. I was immobilized by fear that I would get it wrong. Sometimes I would go to others with my concern, trying to validate myself by building an mental army of mutual opinion.
Before I had begun, I was convinced it would end poorly. I guess I was convinced I was the first person in history for which His grace was too small. Eyeroll.
Sometimes I would be too full of judgment to see the root of the thing, too caught up in the storm of their life to see the fragile part of them that needed His love in me, stripped of its prejudice and gently offered.
He offered me things of His Spirit, and my flesh blinded me.
To be honest, there was a time that a delay between my impulses and my actions became necessary. I had a sharp tongue and an arrogant heart, and I once tried to merge them with my sonship. It was a car crash. So for a time, my patient Father trained me with silence and fire and terrible inner combat.
But that time is over—it ended when I met Love—but I did not renew my mind and became stuck. He faithfully resurrected my identity like a phoenix, trained me in humility and compassion, and most importantly, taught me to love people. The time came to try again and I flinched, afraid to hurt people I now loved. The risk seemed too great.
My heart was now soft but the walk of love was incomplete, lacking the power and fruit His reality and identity in me would bring to it.
This cycle has sabotaged my identity a million times. I have swallowed my tongue and choked on its bread, manna that spoiled because I did not serve it. It sours in my belly, stealing from me what it would have provided to another.
Mark tried to tell me. He’s modeled it with me over and over. When you truly love someone with the Father’s heart, love makes way for the thing you need to say. Grace meets you there. Holy Spirit Himself does the work.
But because I knew the storm of flesh and struggle such encounters have sometimes caused in me, I wanted to spare others that process, or at the very least, I did not want to be the instigator. I avoided dealing in the Love that has transformed me by contending for me, when it did not spare the pain I needed to walk through.
So here I sat at the red light, suddenly truly seeing the wall I kept investing in. I knew Love well enough, and trusted my own heart enough, to see myself at the roadblock. I could turn to the side, ponder this thing longer, stew over it with frustration and angst, push it to the side of my mind and ignore it with any number of the distraction techniques I have mastered,
Or I could look straight ahead, into and through the eyes of my Father and ask, Why is this coming to me now, and what is in my heart to do with it?
Imagine letting our Author help us turn the page.
The light turned green and I hit the gas, turning right down Main Street, posing this question in my spirit to my Father. Like a huge morning sky, my heart filled with love, such deep love. I no longer feared delivery, motive and failure.
In fact, I didn’t see myself at all. I saw how more freedom and power could be opened up to someone I love so much.
but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Eph 4:15-16)
I now ached to go to her, to share what I was seeing, gently and openly, without concrete declarations that left her out of her own story. I wanted to offer my identity to another, to show up for His body, to be the piece I am–not for me, but for my whole Jesus family. I saw how my words could cause her to feel seen and deeply loved.
And she is.