And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more
in knowledge and depth of insight.... Philippians 1:9(NIV)
I remember that Sunday so clearly.
I peered to my right and was struck by the reality that on five consecutive pews each held a person bearing a great burden that I was aware of. One, a broken marriage. Another, a mother facing a debilitating illness. The family with the wayward child. A cancer diagnosis. The other grieving a death.
And these were the ones I knew of. What about the other folks on those rows?
I daresay what I observed was only the tip of the iceberg.
It's so easy to glance around the room and see Sunday smiles and miss the heartache that lies beneath.
We all have it...a heartache. Perhaps a new wound. Maybe one that's been lodged there for years. It could be one trouble. It could be many.
I fear that I've been guilty of longing for what I saw as the perfect life of some, as well as judging what I assumed in others.
Lord, help us to see beyond the smiles. May our love...Your love in us...abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. Fill us with Your mercy and compassion. Help us to always be a reflection of You to whomever crosses our paths...whether in a church pew or in line at the grocery store. May we see others with Your eyes...eyes that know what lies beneath. Father, minister to our wounds. Help us as we minister to each other. May we behave as "fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household," (Ephesians 2:19) loving as You would have us to love.