Jennifer is spacey. Amanda is lazy. Melissa’s a snob. Kelly’s a fake. It is so easy to label people. Labels work for things like spices and what you put in the freezer, but they don’t work so well for people.
Is Jennifer really spacey? Is Amanda lazy? Is Melissa truly a snob? Is Kelly a fake? Maybe some of the time. Maybe those labels work on occasion, but Jennifer, Amanda, Melissa, and Kelly are really so much more. They’re women in need of God’s love, women in need of His grace and ours.
Ray and I went into town this morning. He asked me if I would mind doing one more errand after we finished our appointed rounds. I said sure, because I wanted to be nice, but secretly I was a bit disappointed because I felt like I needed to get home and get busy. Our one more errand took us into the country and I was soon enjoying the beautiful scenes. Then it was my turn to ask Ray for one more thing. “Do you mind if I take some pictures?”
It was his turn to think about the tasks waiting for him, but it was also his turn to be sweet.
When we have a cold winter like this one, our area glistens with icicles.
I admire them often as we speed into town.
Today Ray and I stopped and admired them up close.
Soon I wanted to get a closer look at the ice along the river’s edge, too.
As we stood on the shore, a great blue heron glided over the river with its wings stretched wide. I’m glad Ray was holding the camera then, because instead of hurrying to take a picture, I watched the heron until he vanished from my sight downriver.
As I walked along the water’s edge, I looked down, as I often do when I am out in nature. I love all of the patterns on the ground.
What is ice?
Is it the surface that a figure skater lands on after a salchow or a toe loop? Is it something that makes us stay home because the roads are slick? Is it a cube that cools a glass of water on a hot summer day? Yes, ice is all those things.
Who are Jennifer, Amanda, Melissa, and Kelly? Are they spacey, lazy, snobby, and fake? Yes, but they are hopeful and scared and shy and tired and loving and giving and many other things, too.
We urge you, brethren,
admonish the unruly,
encourage the fainthearted,
help the weak,
be patient with everyone.
1 Thessalonians 5:14, NASB
Admonishing the unruly, encouraging the fainthearted, helping the weak, being patient with everyone. Sounds like the to do list of a homeschooling mother’s day or ideas to pray about before the next family reunion or things to keep in mind before walking into the homeschool co-op board meeting. Perhaps it should be my prayer list.
Father, please admonish me when I am unruly, encourage me when I am fainthearted, help me when I am weak, and be patient with me. Thank You for doing all those things for me every day for so many years. And, help me to do all those things for all the other complex folks I know.