June 30, 2011

Scraping Paint

This week, I have been scraping paint off the back of an old house.  In the past 110 years, the old girl has seen at least four changes in color.  As some boards have needed replacing, the necessary work revealed that the many owners throughout the years have done different things to solve whatever problems they were attempting to correct.  Sometimes , intelligent, well thought out solutions were in place and the inner structure of the wall is still in sound condition.  But, in some places it's obvious, once the outer shell is removed, that some weekend warrior had no idea or patience for doing the job correctly, and small problems have led to big problems now, or surface work simply hid garbage and brokenness underneath.

Today was especially interesting, because while working on a plank several feet above the ground, a swarm of bees decided that they didn't like my boss and I making so much commotion in their neighborhood.  So they proceeded to buzz while my boss took a swing at some of them with a plank.  The plank struck one of them, but while stunned, the bee was not killed.  In fact, once it gained it's bearing again, it realized it was right next to a big warm orb, and decided that big warm orb was the enemy responsible for it's recent discomfort.

That orb was my head.

Now, I didn't do anything.  In fact, I was minding my own business trying to conquer a particularly difficult section of four layer granite disguised as paint, but no matter to the bee!  He was angry!
So if you see me in church this weekend, please don't point and laugh at the big welt smack dab in the middle of my forehead.  It's not a zit or a battle wound from my midnight bouts with door jams on the way to check on crying children - no, it's just a bee sting.  and it hurts.
Luckily, my friend knew that putting mud on the sting would help the sting pain subside and draw out anything bad - so, guess what?  I had mud on my face the rest of the day.  It worked, but I looked like I felt...

True Story.

There's a life lesson here for me, and I hope for you too.  A lot of us, me especially, have a lot of garbage lying underneath layers of paint and replaced boards.  Some of that garbage has been dealt with appropriately, but some of it hasn't.  I'm still working on it (trusting God to deal with it as I respond to His Word and work in obedience).  I'm a sinner saved by grace, but I'm not perfect yet.  I'm trying to walk and talk daily with my Lord, so that I can walk and talk daily with others in a way that pleases Him.  It's hard.  But it's even harder when those who are called to walk beside us and love us in the Spirit take shots at us, remind us of our failures, refuse to forgive us, or treat us like the old nature is all that exists, and the New Creation is of no value.  

In my life, I need friends that know how to heal and bind up.  I need companions who know how to live out Colossians 3: 12-14

 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity...

It's hard enough to be a follower of Christ sometimes.  I'm a sinner!  When others speak their faith and the Word of God into my life, it needs to be for the purpose of encouraging my heart and enjoying fellowship with me.  It should be to help me understand and know Jesus better.

 Are you that kind of friend?

I would love if you would be that kind of friend to me, and I would love to be that kind of friend for you.

Be an Image Bearing friend today.

With you for His Glory

1 comment:

A. M. LaMouria said...

"When others speak their faith and the Word of God into my life, it needs to be for the purpose of encouraging my heart and enjoying fellowship with me. It should be to help me understand and know Jesus better. "

This includes the gentle rebuke, the wise reproof, and the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Being a disciple is rooted in Godly, Biblical discipline. There has to be accountability and growth, but it must be done according to the righteous standards of scripture.