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Walk Away

Things break. It’s probably pretty accurate to say we have all had that miserable experience of breaking something that was precious to us. Trying to rescue it before the inevitable happened yet the sound of it hitting the counter or floor confirmed our failed attempt. Like in a slow motion video – there was no stopping what gravity and my carelessness started. No one to blame but ourselves. Even worse is when something we treasure is broken by someone else.

My mom was always anxious when our family would visit certain relatives and friends. With five kids in tow, I can certainly understand. Only one time do I remember breaking something that belonged to someone in their home. I was horrified. I was just looking at the little light catcher hanging from the lamp and watching it move the light. Mesmerized, I moved it around and around but suddenly the tiny wire broke. No one saw what happened but time stood still there for me in that moment.

For a little while I did nothing. But I knew that wasn’t right. Finally with it laying in my hand, I cautiously approached my mom’s friend and held out my hand to show her what I broke. As I began to explain, she began to laugh sweetly. She told me it was ok and she could fix it and not to worry. She took the burden of the broken from me.

That was fifty years ago. That old saying rings true and maybe I learned it that day. It’s not what you say to people they remember – it’s how they feel as they walk away from you.

                                        What do people feel when they walk away from me?

How often do I miss opportunities to be an encouragement to others? Do I miss sharing their burdens? Could I have responded a little kinder, smiled into their eyes, left them with a hug or told them how grateful I am for their friendship?

Today, I want to walk a little slower, sit a little longer, listen more carefully and share life a lot deeper.

How often is it possible for me to ease another’s anxiety – just like Mom’s friend did for me so many years ago? Even when they haven’t wronged me, many times I can be the listening ear that helps them work through something they have broken or a part of them that has been broken by someone else.

Jesus is our best example of being that. Praying with others often brings light to the broken. Just speaking aloud our fears, our pain and all that we can not yet name helps us to process and discover solutions that have eluded us. Bringing it all to Jesus.

So, take heart. Make it your goal to pay closer attention to what’s going on around you and in others whose paths cross yours daily. Become an observer. Take it to prayer. Share in life and lives around you.

Let’s make it our goal to change the world around us as people walk away and remember how they feel because we took time to share life with them.  As they walk away from us, may it be a little lighter. May we always be a blessing full of compassion in this crazy world around us!

     This is a translation of Matthew 5:14-16 from the Message.

     “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.