2.18.13 Column

by ericakingston

I have always tried to be mindful.

Particularly of others and how they feel. Because I know what it’s like to be sitting in the middle of a situation where I am totally and completely uncomfortable and there is no escape.

This past Sunday I was in the Streeter hall listening to the pastor of Recharge Church. If you haven’t checked it out, please do at least once. Every time I leave there understanding the concept he is speaking on a little better and different than I ever did before.

But like I said, I was listening to the sermon and he said that we spend most of our life trying to avoid humiliation and that is why we lie and cover ourselves up.

It makes sense. We have been doing it since the beginning of time and sin. We felt our shame and covered ourselves from those closest to us. Adam and Eve taught us the trade.

It is downright understandable to try to hide our deepest secrets from God. He is the ultimate judge and is to be feared. But he is also the see-all and know-all, so our attempts are in vain.

But everyday we hide who we are deep, deep down from those around us. From our spouse, from our friends, from our children. Because if they really knew who we were, we might lose it all.

Because as people we are so, utterly judgmental. Because somewhere along the road we thought ourselves mighty and above that high school girl who got pregnant, we thought ourselves better than the marriage with dirty laundry out in the open.

And then the pastor said this: “God never gives his kids permission to be the agents of consequences.”

Who am I, that I should spout your wrong doings back into your face when I have my own laying all around me.

I began thinking – am I a blessing or a curse to those around me?

My grandma Betty, who went Home to be with the Lord recently, was always a blessing. Ask anyone. If there was someone left out, she flocked to them to make them feel a part of the rest. She was an encourager.

In an email of sympathy from of friend of grandmas, it said, “Your whole family is a wonderful witness to the upbringing of your mom and dad. What great examples they were.”

Am I a good witness to the upbringing of my grandparents and parents? We are the legacy grandma left and I do not want that to tarnish. I am the legacy of my dad. My children will be mine.

And so who am I going to be today? Because I have a choice every single second to be a blessing or to be a curse.

No one ever said, “Oh great, we have to go see grandma.” She was an all around good human being. I want to be that way to the people in my life. I want to decrease their humiliation and increase my encouragement for them, I want to let them feel free, I want to leave the consequences to God.

I want the grace I have known from my Savior to spill out all around me and infect my son and my husband and my family and my peers.

“A mean person gets paid back in meanness, a gracious person in grace.” Proverbs 14:14