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 ~