Each new year, hubby and I choose a word to be our focus for the coming months. Sometimes I pick a word and 6 weeks in, change it. But generally, we have stuck to it for the year. This happened in 2013. I had chosen a word and then one day, while listening to a podcast of my BIL Stephen, preaching on “Deliberately Touching Jesus”, I changed my word. Or rather. . .my new word changed me.
This process is a bit like the story of Harry Potter trying to pick out a wand. He’s told that the wizard doesn’t choose a wand. . .the wand chooses the wizard. And, so it was for me and my 2013 word.
He spoke of the woman with an issue of blood and how she fought through the crowd, determined to just touch the hem of Jesus’ cloak. She KNEW that if she could just touch Him, she would be healed and likewise her faith was answered. It struck me that oftentimes, we go through our days just accidently bumping around and jumping out of the way of one crisis only to land in another. I wanted to be more deliberate in my faith, my relationships my day-to-day functioning by choosing each action rather than just responding out of habit.
Of course. . .this theory of mine was tested.
This year, I’ve been struggling with a word. I keep coming back to one however, “Grace.”
The simplest explanation of this word is this:
Grace is unconditional love and care; no judgment, no but-what-ifs, nothing. Just love.
I feel I’m able to reach out in grace to most people, outside the church. Unfortunately, the trickier part for me is to extend that grace to my own church folk. You know, because they should “know better.” But, as far as I know, they’re my neighbor too. . .so, when Jesus gave us the two greatest commands, He included the churched as well as those who have not yet found their lives in Him.
. . .”You shall love your God with all your heart, and with all you soul, and with all your mind.”
. . .”You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There’s nothing in there about instituting rules, holding court, judgments or punishments; JUST LOVE. That’s all I have to do. . .love my God and love my neighbor. . .even those in the neighboring pew.
Please, hold me accountable this year. If you hear me complaining about someone, remind to love them first. It’s really hard to gripe about someone when you really, really love them. Let me know if there are moments when you see less-than His light and love in me. I promise not to judge you for it.