Day 5: Thoughts

A deceitful thought

my mind conjured in me.

It occurred by no fault

of mine you see.

The shadows I feel

are to me bound;

they are stitched to my soul,

and no seamstress found.

To rid me of this

made quilt so wide,

for under it

I no longer wish to hide.

So, Lord, I implore you

help lighten my load;

that I walk weightless

ahead on Your road.

Trust is all

desires my heart;

with a prayer

to You, I find start.

Stitch by stitch,

I lay this burden at Your feet;

for left there do fade

memories of cheat.

Please help to resew

a shadow for me;

that through not my eyes

but by Yours my thoughts see.

Before you begin your day:

Did you see the way they acted? The way they dressed? The way they looked at me? I cannot be around them! Why did they even come?

Why do they carry on about that? Get over it already! They have no idea what its like to... They need to pull up their bootstraps and get on with it!

These are dangerous statements, indeed. The list continues, including questions, exclamations, and frustrations of which we're all guilty. I will never forget a particular Sunday in church. The priest used a line above to speak of the homeless in our city... they need to pull up their bootstraps and get on with it. He then asked us, "What if they don't know where their bootstraps are? What if they have no boots to pull up? Would you help them? Would you understand? Could you love them as God does?

A challenge for sure, but a responsibility we are all called to accept. These quick, harsh reactions are not limited to those who are distant in our lives. But those right next to us: coworkers, friends, family. The members of our immediate surroundings are often the more difficult to love the way God does. In truth, we judge when we have no right to judge. That responsibility belongs to God alone and He doesn't judge anyone without love as a guide. What would happen if love was the only juror ever casting judgment?

Choose a word(s) from the poem that speaks to you of a particular challenge you face. Write them down. Sit for a moment with the Lord. Listen.

Now, choose a word(s) from the poem that He leads you toward as He offers His guidance. Lightly draw a line through the word(s) you chose first (you want to be able to read them). Write the new one(s) God has offered adjacent to the faint reminder. Keep this paper with you. Today, let us live up to this challenge. Move through your day as Jesus holds your hand. If you become frustrated, allow Him to speak. As harsh judgment battles to exit your mouth, allow His smile to respond instead. Let us love all the way He does.

During your day:

Let the words of my mouth be acceptable,

the thoughts of my heart before you,

LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

(Psalm 19: 15)

Read Leviticus 19: 1-2; Mark 14: 10-11 Psalm 119: 33-37; Matthew 22: 36-40; Leviticus 19: 15-16; Matthew 25: 40

Throughout your day:

Look at your paper, how are you doing? Use this time as a beautiful opportunity for prayer.

INHALE: As you challenge me, O Lord, with _________________________.

EXHALE: Hold my hand as I proceed.

(repeat as many times as needed)

Before you end your day:

Blessed Lord, thank you for being with me today. At this very moment, clear my mind of all I know. As I sleep, fill my dreams with the beautiful, peaceful vision you have of this world. Help me to be an integral part of this vision. Remind me it only takes contact with everyone I meet to bring this to fruition. Help me to receive your children as the blind and deaf - with nothing but one trusting hand enveloped in another. Transform my knowledge into wisdom, my misunderstanding into understanding, and my doubt into faith. Saturate my judgement with You. Amen.

Goodnight; sleep well; know you are blessed.


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