For a long time, I’ve been very self-centered. Even in my selflessness, I’ve been self-centered, if that makes any sense.
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah…I’m stressed out alot. I’m dealing with alot. I’ve gained weight and back trouble because of my stress but guess what? Most of my stress comes from a lack of self care, poorly maintaining my temple. I’m not taking care of my self and by not taking care of myself I’m being selfish.
Because I’m depriving the world of the excellence of what God has called me to do, settling for mediocrity…even if “people” think my mediocrity is actually pretty good. I’m depriiving the world of who He has created me to be in the fullest and greatest capacity. At my core, I am a compassionate person, a loving person, a gifted person…but I can’t be any of those things if I continue to allow my physical, mental, and emotional state to be less than excellent. A hard, hard reality check.
So I guess it was finally time to take the attention off of myself and so this weekend…that’s exactly what happened.
The Lord blessed me to meet a variety of people this weekend. Not necessarily to minister to them in a way that is traditional like “do you know jesus?” or “Here is a tract, Jesus Saves.” He allowed me to be a loving listener for single moments in time that I know will ultimately plant a seed of love and caring in those that I’ve met. And isn’t that really our duty as Christians? Yes, we should evangelize. Yet even when we aren’t in an intentional evangelistic mode, we should be about showing the love of Christ to people. You never know what a person may need in a particular moment.
Let me share with you those that God placed in my path this week:
On Saturday morning, I went to the museum and was able to bless one of the young ladies that I work with in a very real and tangible way as she begins her journey in the Lord (with a bible that was donated by CLC-Thanks, Kevin). Then, I spent some time pampering and taking a rare moment to take care of myself and at the nail salon, I met Susie. As we were waiting for our nails to dry we got a chance to have a wonderful conversation. In fact, Susie was about as different from me as possible. Here I was… this 32 year old, African American woman with dreadlocks down her back, dressed in jeans and a thin, leather jacket…and here she was, a 62 year old white woman dripping in enough diamond bling she’d make any top ten rapper jealous (she even gave me the card of her jeweler LOL.) and rocking a fur coat. But something quickened in my spirit as I talked with her and we were able to share some pretty deep truths in our 20 minutes together. She didn’t have any children so I know that by my showing her some loving kindness I was able to plant a seed in her…but here’s the shocker (only to me, of course)…she ministered to me and, unbeknowst to her, began to speak about the very things that God had been dealing with me on… regarding taking care of my body. Even at 62, she explained, she takes time out to keep her body (inside and out) in shape and she went on to say how she comes from a generation of women who didn’t believe in stepping out of the house looking “any kind of way.” This made me recall my grandmother who, in spite of having terminal cancer, will step out of the house only in the best of the best…matching hat, bag, and shoes. And here I was…locks reminscent of Bob Marley, struggling to get to the gym everyday.
I met Tarin at the post office as I’m mailing book orders out. She was working at the window and we began to talk about writing and publishing when shared with me that her husband was incarcerated and had written a book. She wanted to know how she could self-publish his book and I was grateful to be able to share with her a few things that could help them. I’ll also be stopping by to give her a copy of my indie publishing CD on Tuesday.
As I was walking out of the P.O., the Holy Spirit spoke clearly to me. I’d been consumed by the loss of a book deal that I thought would elevate my writing and bless the masses, when God was positioning in front of people everyday who needed my gift.
She was a beautiful, African American sister working security in a building where I had a meeting. I remember noticing how her eyes gleemed and how fly her hair was…(girlfriend was fried, dyed, and laid to the side). She had a unique combination of hunger and joy in her eyes that I couldn’t explain. As I as leaving the building, I felt led to tell her that she was gorgeous…something, out of my own insecurity, I rarely do to women over 18. Her face lit up and she began to share with me how she’d just moved to Philly…her mom passed away a year ago…and she was trying to build her hair business. I, of course, asked her how much she charged for lock maintenence and she said $20. I said, WHAT??? She explained how she was trying to build her business and would be willing to sacrifice now…prove the value of her skills…in order to gain more later.
All I could say was wow…how many times was I not willing to sacrifice now in order for Godly gain later? Why wasn’t I willing to do the work that my faith requires in order to have access to the rain God is trying to release in my life?
I don’t think that I would have met these women last week (per my last blog). I was too self consumed to see anyone else but myself and my issues. But everything has changed. Right now, my heart is so full with expectancy. I’m so open to the will of God for my life and the desire to simply bask in the presence of God is so awesome…I can’t contain it. I’m desperately seeking out opportunities to be taught; to bless and be blessed and God is sending Angels…in the form of people I come across in the everyday course of life, to be the vessels of those divine transactions.