Imagine being stuck in a dark room, with only the tiniest flicker of light in an oil lamp. All it needs is for someone to raise the wick, just a little, and it will burst into light, but you are weak, thirsty, and exhausted… not to mention that you have a ball and chain around your leg, and couldn’t reach the lamp, if you tried, because you haven’t the strength to drag the weights with you. You shiver, huddled up against the cold, damp concrete.
Suddenly, you sit up, straining to hear. Yes! It’s the distant echo of footsteps…. They draw closer. You cry out. Surely they will come, find you, and help. You wait, then cry out again as the footsteps grow louder.
Someone walks in the room, and for just one moment your heart fills with hope… In the dim light your eyes meet… Empty, careless, they greet you, then turn dark with judgement… then back to apathy… They shrug… then turn, immediately walk over to the lamp and lower the wick. The light goes out…
They asked no questions. assuming you chose that place. With the light now out, at least they are not confronted with your condition… You cannot see them, but you hear the loud rhythmic echo of footsteps on cold concrete, accompanied by the sound of their voice, singing about Jesus… fading as they disappear…
Cold and alone, you wonder who that Jesus is, anyway…
When we judge harshly rather than listen to the soul struggle of another… When we see their ‘condition’ and make bold religious assumptions, we snuff the life right out of them with a few words. And then we go on our merry way, singing about loving Jesus, leaving a confused and struggling soul, if not a ‘dead’ one, in our wake.
But God says He’s not like that. That means we are a dreadful misrepresentation of His heart, when we do life that way:
Isaiah 42:3 (NKJV)
3 A bruised reed (God/Jesus) will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.
If you are in that dark room–whatever it may be–and your spirit that ‘flickering wick’ (smoking flax), know that God loves you. He gently raises the wick, and blows with the wind of His Spirit to bring that flicker to a full flame. And if your spirit is bruised by life, know that He will not break that fragile part of your heart, nor will He lead people to you to do so. Anyone who treats that pain with harshness, does not represent God. Not at all!
And if you are the one who tends to judge harshly, repent. It could have been you, in that place of need. Learn to show compassion and represent God with grace and hope, turning up that wick so that the oil of the Holy Spirit can flow through, bringing the flicker to a full flame.
My desire is to be a conduit, through which Jesus can flow and bring hope to the many bruised hearts and broken spirits. To love as He loves, and sacrifice as He sacrificed by giving my very life in the name of Love…. because He is worth representing well.
~ T ~
Thank you, Trudy! Your posts are a heaven- sent blessing to me from the Father’s heart, in a time of my life when I am leaning heavily on my faith in God to carry me through! God bless you!
Blessings to you, Joanna. Praying you feel the embrace of ‘Papa God’, who guards tenderly the broken and fragile heart. And praying a few kind souls represent Him well in your darkest, loneliest hour.
Ha. Story of my life right there. Thanks for reminding me that those people are not representing God and that God loves me! Needed this this morning. Blessings to you.
Sorry that this is your experience, and rejoicing with you, that God walks through the dark with us, protecting that flickering wick. We will make it! Press on, my friend!
Trudy, although I know this word was meant for all, I am taking it very personally. Although I’ve been a Christian for many years and the Lord has seen me though many struggles as well as victories, I’ve been feeling more and more beat up and battle weary these past two years, and barely treading water. I don’t think it’s a “coincidence” that as I was pondering this last night, wondering how I would ever be able to regain my spiritual strength and faith that used to be so strong, that this verse came to me, and I felt a renewal in my spirit.
Thank you for being obedient and posting this. It was a confirmation to me that my Redeemer is still there for me.
It was meant for all who need it, and therefore specifically for you. It’s intriguing because I wrote this quite some time ago, and when I opened it last night, I thought, “Nah… it needs too much work…” but then I went over it and decided I’d post it anyway. As I put it out there this morning the thought went through my head that I sure don’t understand why I post things when I do–I have about 100 drafts, mostly ready to go if ever I’m so inclined–but I do believe God wants to encourage someone. And, with that, I sent it off. Even the fact that I wrote it to the person sitting in the dark, I questioned. The voice, as easily, could have been telling the person in the dark to look at the bright side, to see only Jesus and overlook acknowledging the person(s) snuffing out the light. Even that I sensed was what God wanted, so I resisted the urge to change it. It’s the beauty of the Holy Spirit… God knows who needs that encouragement and the challenge. Many blessings, Scarlett, as you find Jesus in that darkness and allow His Spirit to raise your wick, so to speak, and refresh you.
Oh. My. Word. I’m scrolling down your blog reading your posts, and reading this one is almost exactly like reading something I myself wrote once about being in a dark room, except I wasn’t as eloquent about it. Bless you.