“Do you need a pack of cigarettes?”

Christmas Family Picture - 1976 - 26163_363304891397_6467067_n
My precious Family celebrating Christmas together in 1976!

“Do you need a pack of cigarettes?”  “Well sure – that would be nice,” I answer, with my arms already filled with three plates of cakes and cookies – the leftovers from a gathering with friends!  Rationalizing in my mind – thinking, “Hey, that’s cool!” but my stomach tells the real story with that sick gnawing feeling growing deep inside me – as I could hardly hold my head up and wanted to run out the door – to breathe…

Have you noticed how once we have molded a judgement towards others, even those we say we love, especially, those who are considered walking in a lowly place  – that we do not take the time to really see them?   As it becomes safe for us to keep placing people in categories instead of allowing them the freedom, without our judgments, to be themselves.  As you see I have been in both places – as I was on Welfare for a period of time in my own life while raising my children.  And I used to think, “Do I even have any worth or value?”  As it seemed as if my needs overwhelmingly voided out my worth.

I had to ask myself if I have done this very same thing, that deeply hurt my heart, to others who are in the same position as I had been – by capitalizing on their needs and by-passing their worth. As I walked deeply in guilt and shame while wearing the clothes of strangers.  It is not easy to walk humbly before others – who gratefully, give from their wealth, and also, from their hearts – but to still feel that you are not seen as a person of value.

As the Holy Spirit reminded me that when I judge others – that we are not to judge – as it’s not our place – as there is only one Judge who is righteous and that is our Heavenly Father.  Because when we do choose to judge –  we then sit safely behind a wall of self-righteousness – with truly no love at all.  But what we are asked to have is a spirit of discernment which is like a panorama of glass –  for us to be able to see clearly with Godly wisdom and still be safe.  This was an humbling enlightenment for me as I asked my Heavenly Father for His forgiveness – as it really hit me hard!

So when we see someone who doesn’t quite look, or think, or fit into the mold that others consider acceptable –  it’s good for us to remember those days when we didn’t quite measure up and didn’t fit into the mold others had carved out for us.  But, gratefully, our Savior finds us worthy – as truly He does leave the Ninety-Nine and goes in search to find the One who is lost and floundering – to bring us safely into His care and keeping – cleansed, clothed, and fed, in the warmth of His love – chosen, adopted, forgiven, and accepted –  forever and for all time.  Imperfect? Oh yes!  Blessed?  Absolutely!

So, once again, I ask myself am I focusing only on the needs of others; while not valuing their worth?  What is my heart attitude towards others and those placed in my care?  Are my words lifting them up and encouraging them to walk…with hope?  Am I sharing the love of Jesus, not only in words, but with my actions? And am I being the fragrance, love, and light of Jesus?  Or are my words and actions tearing them down? And am I grieving the Holy Spirit who lives within me?

Just some food for thought as a reminder for me and, maybe for you; so we never forget from “whence we came…and what shoes we once wore.”

From my Heart…

 

2 thoughts on ““Do you need a pack of cigarettes?””

  1. Beautifully stated and such a great reminder
    We have all been in some type of old shoes and sometimes forget
    It’s good to put them on once in awhile and take a walk down memory lane so we can be less judgmental and more compassionate… the fragrance ❤️ Loved this Brenda!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent. Looking back to 1976, I too was in a dark place and convinced myself I was being cool. So grateful to be among the sinners saved by grace and this a good reminder to remember where I came from and have compassion for others.

    Liked by 1 person

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