I don't think I've been one who freely throws around the phrase "The Lord said to me....". But the other day, I heard him as clear as day.
I was out for a run and was thinking about a lot of things. I thought about the words "white privileged" and how I feel when I hear them. I thought about all the stuff going down around us and how they make me feel helpless and resigned. I thought about the disapproving looks I got from masked people as I ran by un-masked but at a "safe" distance.
Thankfully there was no one on "my" bench and I was able to sit for a while and reflect and pray. In the quiet of that moment I asked God what I could do that day to serve him... what I could do to glorify him. After a moment, there it was. No mistake. He clearly said "Wellll, for starters, you can quit silently mocking people for wearing masks when it doesn't make sense to you".
Oh My God! It was very funny and poignant and true and convicting. I could just see Jesus himself looking at me out of the side of his eye, twinkling with tenderness giving me a little jab in the ribs. That gentle way he brings us out of the culverts and back onto the right roads. I had no argument or justification. Guilty as charged! Mocky Mockerson.
Psalm 139:23-24 says "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the way everlasting.…". Basically, it is saying to God, who knows everything about us, all our thoughts and emotions, everything that worries us, our faults and our flaws, "Sort through me God. Give my heart a thorough and honest assessment. Check and see if there be any way, any attitude, anything in me that is not good and doesn't look like Love. ...and help me correct it so I can be more like you."
We have a lot of opportunity these days to notice the "us and them" divisions in our world. I think no matter which side you stand on any of the issues everyone can ask for that heart assessment... "God, is there something I am missing? Is there something in me that is offensive and is looking a lot like Not-Love? Is there something I need to set right before you?"
You just may hear in the quiet of your heart "Wellllll, For starters...."