Surely, Lord, You are in this place. Surely, Lord, You are in this place.
These were the words written in my daily devotional this morning. These were the words I had to repeatedly say to myself over and over just to get through my day today. To get through some spaces today.
Surely, Lord, you are up in here!
Because, I didn’t really believe it. Because all I had seen, heard, witnessed, even had spewed at me was cruelty. Hate. I had been hurt. Heartbroken. And I was having a hard time seeing anything redeeming in some of those faces.
I was also wearing it. Which means that my facial muscles just don’t do “fake face.” If I am mad, sad, happy. My face let’s you know. And, I had been walking around in a funk for a number of days.
It’s why I could instantly recognize it in the kid in a sea of kids during the transition between recess and last period. That “Please don’t look at me, or I’ll just cry” look.
It may have also been his black plastic rimmed glasses, and unruly curly hair; much like my own kid’s that made him stand out to me in that moment. The fact that earlier that day, I had been wondering if these same group of kids would be so unkind to my wee, little quirky boy?
Then I saw one…similar…standing in front of me. Trying not to cry.
While everyone else just walked right by him. While everyone else just blew him off. While no one else noticed his sadness. Or saw it. And failed to stop and say anything kind.
Hurt people hurt people. Yeh, yeh. I get it. Read the book. Check. Do the job to stop that cycle.
Hate that is given, that is often returned to others is just that-hateful.
Thing is, we don’t have to be hateful. I didn’t walk a life paved with roses. It has been rough. Pieces of my childhood were painful. Filled with grief and loss. But, I didn’t use it as an excuse to hurt others. I was a tough cookie at times, sure…however, I never spread hate. I was never unkind because cruelty was handed to me. No, I took my pain and used it as a tool to undo harm, by showing love to others.
This is how you break the cycle. Refusing to spread hate with hate. You battle the hate you feel you have been given. The crappy hand you feel you have been dealt, not by hurting others, but with love. You become a warrior. Of love. Of peace. Of kindness.
Surely, Lord, You are in this place. Genesis 28:16
He was. In me. I was called to show someone the Lord today.
Today. I could be that warrior of kindness.
Be, here. In this place. That had been a source of hurt to this woman, what I would want for my child. The one who came to mind as I watched this one cry in front of me. The words I would want my own sweet, quirky, funny, but tiny and unruly headed little boy to hear.
“I am sorry they hurt you. No one should get away with saying hurtful things. It’s not OK. You are smart. You are worthy. You are wonderful. You are awesome.”
It’s never cool to hurt. It’s never cool to take your pain and use it as an excuse to inflict it on others. I could have easily walked by, mumbled an “I feel ya,” and kept going, but even in my pain I chose to stop and show that kindness, love and peace does live up in here. It’s the only thing that drowns out the hateful noise. And you have the choice whether you receive it, and then in turn give it.
My prayer is this: Stop when someone is crying. Those tears are tears of pain from a heart that is full of love and kindness, and so desires to hear how valued they are.
Show them that love, goodness, and kindness lives here. It could truly save a hurting soul. And, it only takes a hot minute.
The same hot minute it took to read a devotional dated December 5th.
On December 6th.
Surely, Lord, You are in this place!