After watching the morning news…

Image result for the love of christ compels us

…this became my prayer:

“Abba, I need Your eyes today to see the people who cross my path.
Your ears to hear not just their words but their hearts.
And I need Your heart to love them with YOUR love.
Not my faulty and feeble love.
But Yours.

I need Your eyes today to see past the behavior I dislike so that I can see that this is another person who is created in Your image, someone You desperately and dearly love, someone for whom Christ died.

I need Your ears to hear past the rhetoric – whether it matches my internal script or not – so that I can hear the person behind the words. Even the ugly, vile, disturbing words. I need to hear the cries for You that are woven through the words they choose. And I need to speak back Your Words – Words of Truth, life, health, peace, healing, love, understanding, grace, and kindness – regardless of what they have spoken.

I need Your heart for every person in my path today.
The ones that look like me.
And sound like me.
And dress like me.
And believe like me.
And the ones who don’t.

I need Your heart that encompasses eternity.
Mine is bound by time, space, and my finiteness.
Yours is unbound and recognizes how brief this day – this life – really is.
And how many of the people who will cross my path today do not know You.
And what their eternal life death will be like in a Christ-less reality.

You see.
You hear.
You understand.
And You love, without condition.
You offer hope.
You offer peace.
You offer life.

And you choose to use me to do it.
To make that offer to a lost, confused, wounded and dying world.
You left the task of showing YOU to the world to me.
To me – and every other person who claims to be Your follower.
“Go and make disciples”, You said.
But before I can make disciples, I must first be a disciple.
Learning from Jesus’ example.
And then doing life like He did.
Applying the things He taught to my everyday life.
And especially to the people I meet in the daily-ness of it all.
Living as He did in my
Conversations.
Politics.
Kind and unkind actions.
Friends and foes.
Happy times and sad ones.
Learning how He did it so I can be like Him.
So that others will see YOU in me.

In myself, a hopeless and helpless task.
But the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in me.
And I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

So God, here is my request this day:
Get me out of Your way.
Give me Your eyes, Your ears, Your heart.
For both the Black Lives Matter protestors and the police officers.
For both those who look like me and those who do not.
For both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
For both my friends and my foes.
For both the good drivers and the lousy ones.
For both those I agree with and those whose point of view I cannot comprehend.
And everyone in between.

Because they ALL need You.
And I know You.
And You have asked me to love them in Your name.
But I need You desperately.
Because the task is enormous.
Impossible on my own.
But Your love compels me.
So please give me Your eyes, Your ears and Your heart this day.
May I do to them as YOU have done for me.
Grace. Mercy. Kindness. Love. Compassion.

And, God, one more thing – please use me in spite of me.”

Amen.

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