Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Brokenness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

I am beginning to think any sermon by a leader I admire named "Brokenness" if definitely worth listening to.
This is the first of the message. Worth listening to the whole message.

May I be broken before God!

Friday, September 3, 2010

An Act of Kindness

When we moved to East Texas from the crowded city life, there were many strange differences. Things that are just normal to small town folks that they don't even notice them. However, come from a big city and it seems weird.  It was strange to see a hog running along the side of a highway. Nice little differences like not having to plan a whole day around getting your car registered. I actually had to double check that I was at the right building when I saw there was no one in line.

Here in East Texas it is tradition that if a funeral procession is on the way from the funeral home to the grave sight that every car on both sides of the road will stop until they pass. I wish I could say someone had warned me of this tradition as I was toodling down the road with my children and had a woman from the funeral procession let me know in unrepeatable words how unhappy she was with me. The awkward embarrasment of knowing I had done something wrong, as well as the stares from the cars along the side of the road who I am sure heard the chastisement, made me seek out a reason to my offense.

I don't know if the way I was introduced to this tradition soured my thinking about it. However, I came to dread seeing the headlights coming or the police leading a procession of cars. It seemed ridiculous to me. Why stop everyone's day for someone you don't know? Respect? It's not like the dead person cares! Needless to say, my attitude definitely didn't reflect one a child of God's should.

Fast forward a couple years. My grandma died. I was blessed to have moved into the town where she lived and get to know her as an adult. I spend many days driving her to her doctor's appointment in the next town over and enjoying lunch with her. She was apologized for taking my time away from raising my family of four girls. I always told her it was my pleasure. It truly was. It was time I HAD to make to talk. So many times, I mean to spend time with people, but life gets in the way. I cherish those days.

As we drove from the church to the family grave yard to bury her, I was now on the other side of the tradition. This city girl was able to experience the act of kindness of simple country people who took a moment out of their busy day to show compassion for those grieving. This hard heart got it! As we turned down a small country road, the only cars driving down the road were those from the funeral. Yet, a man got off his tractor and stood with his hat in his hand and bowed his head while we all drove by. I cried. Not only for my grandma but for someone who touched me so deeply by honest compassion.

I softened a lot that day. I thank God for little moments that impact my heart and help mold me into a person that better reflects Him. I might not understand many things in life, yet, I can die to myself. I can think of others first. I can give acts of kindness. I can pray for people I don't know who are going through a tough situation.