On most Sunday mornings, my husband takes our dog for a walk before church.
This past week he arrived back from his walk, stood in the doorway of my home office, and said “I have a confession to make…”
On his walk that morning he had passed numerous homeless folks who have taken up ‘residence’ on the pavements in our area and for some reason the dirt and the rubbish and human faeces lying on the ground had just ‘gotten’ to him and he had told two of the men that they needed to clean up the pavement and stop using it as a toilet.
He, however, hadn’t said it quite that politely. He then strode off, dog in tow.
He didn’t get very far before he was convicted of how badly he had just behaved.
Who was he to speak to anyone like that? How did the way he had just conducted himself reflect God’s love?
He turned around, and went back, not knowing whether he would be met with anger or abuse but knowing that he could not leave things as they were. He apologised to the two men and confessed that he had no right to speak to them the way he had. He could have said what he had in a much kinder and respectful manner. He asked them for their forgiveness. Their response was wonderful, “Hey sir, we forgave you as soon as you walked off. We see you walking every Sunday. It’s okay sir.”
They had been watching him all these weeks. His behaviour, his attitude…would they have guessed that he was a child of God’s?
They spoke for a while and he told them about U turn and then asked whether he could pray with them and they readily agreed. He prayed God’s Scriptures into their lives and then continued his walk.
This reminded me so much of what a close friend and prayer partner once wrote to me:
“I always imagine the multitude of angels watching, looking at how we live and walk with God, and when storms come, I remind myself they are watching and looking to see if I worship and honour God. And then when I do, I “see“ them rejoicing with me.
Many times God has said to me “Be careful now, people are watching, waiting to see if you will turn on Me, if you will walk away saying I am not faithful”.
That keeps me worshipping as I know that if I manage to live a life that honours Him the best I can, no matter what storms come, He is either in the boat with me or He is walking on the water, calling me to come. All I need to do is listen and look at Him.
If He sleeps then I try to relax at His feet, if He is out dancing on the waves then I get out the boat and try my best to walk to Him, even if it means swallowing some water in the process.
Lately, I must confess, I have managed to dance in my mind`s eye with Him on the waves. They are still as large as they have always been, but now instead of looking at them breaking, I am on top enjoying the view.” ~ Teubes Prinsloo
“Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God, first fill your own house with the fragrance of love. Go not to the temple to light candles before the altar of God, first remove the darkness of sin from your heart. Go not to the temple to bow down your head in prayer, first learn to bow in humility before your fellow men. Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees, first bend down to lift someone who is down trodden. Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins, first forgive from your heart those who have sinned against you.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~ John 13:35