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One Red Bag

A day of stories.  This is the story of one red bag.  She walked in with crowds, but I didn't see her until I heard her mother angrily wondering where she was.  Then, I saw her, 5 or 6 years older than me; but very worn.  Her face tired, her heart aching, baby soon to come.  She didn't have enough money, so she kept putting the little one's clothes back on the racks.  Her face said, angry; but her heart said, weeping.  I heard the words her mom kept saying, and I wondered what I could do to help her.  I thought I lost my chance, but...then she came back.  I asked her if she would receive a blessing, she looked at me as though I were crazy, then the tears came, along with a heart-aching, grateful hug.  I don't know what her story was, but her heart was bleeding out there for all the world to see.  But, no one noticed. 

Where have we failed?  That we could only see people who are down on their luck, no jobs.  We know they need Jesus and we say so.  We pour ourselves into our robes of self-righteousness, and say how if they would only help themselves.  How if they would only do this, make themselves look like this and do that, then we would help them.  We would welcome them into our churches and our lives, if they were just like us.  But, my thought hits me square in the face.  Why?  Why would they even want to be like us?  Self-loving people who want a comfortable man-made uniformity, when Jesus came and sacrificed for everyone no matter what they've done or where they're at.  Why am I, one who has been given mind-blowing grace, one of the chief to pull back from loving grace into someone?  Why don't I see the ache in others more?  Where are His eyes in my life?  His heart?  Why am I still just talking?  What will it take for that to break in our lives?  To pour out all the grace we've been given so someone else can see His face. 

You have to disadvantage yourself – if you are ever going to help the disadvantaged. -Ann Voskamp

This struck me today.  To do even more hard things, to allow God to continue breaking me, so that maybe I could show even one person what He's done in my life.  I can't even put into words the God-breathed grace that has flown through my life in the last while, but if even one moment of my ache and still aching journey could change a breaking heart into a healing heart, all the things, the moments that brought me here, that one moment would show the glory of God so amazingly.


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