Friday, August 30, 2013

On Every Pew

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.


Meredith said...

I deeply appreciate this, Kristi.

Nan said...

I love your insight Kristi. I think Sunday morning masks disguise a lot of pain.

Gloria Minor said...

Thanks my friend for reminding me to stop looking within and start looking around! Oh how I love the ways God uses you to bless me!

Unknown said...

I saw this on Facebook this morning:
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you can't see. Be kind. ALWAYS.

So true. I'd add, "Be available" to that mix.
Love you, Kristi. Hope you're having a great weekend!

Ceil said...

Hi Kristi! That is a wonderful insight. We often think everyone has a perfect life, marriage, perfect kids... and we dismiss them.

Who knows what they are really dealing with? I should pray for all my brothers and sisters, and treat them like the family they are.

Happy Holiday Weekend!

Kristi Butler said...

Thanks for dropping by, Meredith, Nan, Gloria, Susan, and Ceil! And thanks for your kind words. I do believe that "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you can't see" is absolutely true. So thankful that we have the Victor on our side!