Thursday, February 17, 2011

Walking the Hill {this is love}

in a hushed whisper he said, " mom, he's out there saying bad words."

somehow, by the grace of God, in that moment I was able to focus on the fact that pain can cause bad words.  he did wrong.  his pain then made him say wrong. but he also may have been provoked.  my stern words did not help.  did not heal.

I got up slowly walked through the house into the laundry room to walk out the back door.  to find him and do, I don't know what.

he stepped in the back door, as I walked around the corner.  I stopped looked into his face, his eyes.  he looked in mine.   I said his name, calmly,  "I'm sorry".    I don't even remember what else we said...we hugged, a touch toward healing.

and that was so hard.  in that moment, I literally had to push down my pride of being right, or correcting his wrong or proving a point, and instead,  reach out to a hurting heart.

later that day, at church, we sang a song I had never heard before.   the words flickered by the Holy Spirit, bringing to my remembrance: daily we need to walk the hill to Calvary.  To pick up our cross daily, and deny what my pride or self-preservation would want me to do. to let go of MY hurt, to heal other's hurt.  THIS...this is love.   Not the flowers and candy and sentiments and gifts and words too familiar.  {yes, all of those are another way to say love}, but without this daily walking-the-hill love, the other symbols are empty.

Nail pierced hands, wounded side
This is love, this is love
The holy heart was sacrificed
this is love, this is love.

I bow down to the Holy one
I bow down to the lamb
I bow down to the Worthy one
I bow down to the Lamb.

The Son of God died for us
This is love this is love
He walked the hill
He bore the cross
this is love, this is love.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

It is uphill, can feel uphill, to deny our "rightness", our hurt, our expectation bow down, let it go and love.   This is love...this is love.  Sometimes this hill walking can be BIG, momentous, a major trek across continents and countries and cultures and lifetimes.  yes...  those too.  But most often it is small and daily and almost not noticed, easily overlooked.  a forgiveness, a setting aside of your agenda for someone else's, a lingering talk when you could rush by, a game played when you would rather _________,  a hug,  an unexpected "i love you", a dish washing, laundry folding, homework-helping, story-listening walk. An I hear you, I see you, I value you  walk.

I saw something this morning, that just reminded me of this yet again.   a woman I don't know well, but every brush I have up against her, leaves me glittered with God's love.  I am so cotton-picking blessed that she glitters my son all day long at school.  

As we pulled up to the school parking lot this morning, It was raining, windy, cold.   On mornings like that, the kids go into the classroom, rather than playground.  It was one minute before the "before school program" was over, so the classrooms were not yet unlocked.  Mrs. Johnson was walking up to the office, head hooded against the weather.   Quite a bit away, my son and I saw another student try to open the room to the Jr. High class...but it was still locked.  He was under a slight overhanging and prepared to hunker down for the minute until the door would be opened.  Although far away, I noticed Mrs. Johnson see this, and change her path, her plan to walk upstairs, to walk over in the rain and unlock the door for Micah.

It was just a small thing, a very little thing...but I thought, as I saw it...she is walking the hill.  That is so like her!   And she inspired me.   How she loves on these kids and it is just her nature to walk that hill daily on their behalf.  It ended up that someone inside the classroom heard and opened the door.  Micah was in and dry.  Mrs. Johnson did not have to walk all the way over.  But she had started..and she would have. 
 It reminded me again of the song from last Sunday and of our call from our Savior to deny ourselves... to walk the hill, daily  that this is love.

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