The Post – “God Calling,” Calls Again.

Another entry from the book, God Calling, that I absolutely love….the book AND the saying, that is:

“Be gentle with all. Try to see the heart I see, to know the pain and difficulty of the other life, that I know. Try, before you interview anyone, or speak to anyone, to ask Me to act as interpreter between you two. ….Welcome all who come….”

I have loved this saying, another one highlighted in at least two colors, because it was something I failed at so much, and knew I needed to learn. It spoke to concepts I never could get my head around:

– gentleness instead of toughness

– yielding instead of rigidity

– patience instead of immediate judgement

– trust in God instead of only myself

– waiting to consider instead of acting first

– open welcome instead of self-protection

They are still hard ones. For one, some of these require things that go against keeping to ourselves, protecting ourselves. For another, the world has taught us we are supposed to be quick, efficient, decisive, and moving on instead of pondering things. And even when we agree that these are the right things to give, none of these come easily to anyone in an age of too many things to do in life, too many responsibilities, too much do to at work, too much…..

Life is overwhelming. And to be gentle, yielding, patient, trusting, waiting, or openly welcoming, the trouble is these take TIME, a precious commodity in today’s busy world. Even when we want to achieve these ideals, sometimes we are so tired, so overwhelmed, so overworked, that we haven’t much left to give.

For myself, first it was just a revelation that gentleness and openness and waiting and trusting were the real way to go. Then there was re-training old habits. Even when we believe in a change, it takes a long time to build up the courage to try and a long time to correct an established pattern.

Maybe, the re-training takes a lifetime. I know I’ll never get all of these right all the time. In those moments, maybe it’s enough to remember that these are what we strive for. Even if we can’t always deliver, we can know we did our best to remember, and try again the next time. And it is the intention that counts…what’s in our hearts. For someone who struggles to reach an ideal, but still tries, maybe that’s the bigger gift than from someone who can do it with ease.

There was a parable about an old woman who only had a couple coins left to give. Certainly, it wasn’t anything compared to what the richer members of that temple could donate. But when it’s all you have, and you still give it, the magnitude of the gift is huge:

He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.’

New Revised Standard Version, Luke 21:1-4

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