|Glory at her shelter before her move to Walk by Faith Minstry|
where the Lord gave her an EXTREME MAKEOVER
Just recently, I noticed the other dogs picking on her. They growl, and snap, when she bumps into them. Then I growl and snap at them for growling and snapping at her. Lots of growling and snapping, and lots of Glory running into things. Of course she does. She is blind.
And all of this leads me to consider that this is exactly how so many of us human beings tend to treat each other. We set high expectations of each other, just like the other dogs do with Glory. We expect others to be just like us. We expect others to not mess up. We expect others to get it right. We expect others to have a perfect walk. And even when they are blind, even when they are younger, even when they are less experienced, even when they don’t know Jesus yet, even when they know Jesus but don’t know much about the Bible, even when they know lots but still mess up, we tend to growl and snap at them – sometimes to even push them around – when they bump into things, especially us.
|Two-footed Winnie on wheels, me (with long hair!) |
and post-EXTREME MAKEOVER MISS GLORY!
It’s so easy for me to yell at the dogs about how they need to respect Glory, and to give her some mercy and grace, because she is blind. It’s not too easy for me to look in the mirror and see how often I fall short in extending mercy and grace to others (people and dogs) when they “run into things”, especially me. It’s so easy for us to judge and gossip about people we hear and read about who take advantage of the elderly, or show no compassion to the disabled, or who hold back from helping the handicapped, or who take advantage of the vulnerable with scams and other such things.
But what happens when we look in the mirror? I don’t know about you, but when I look in the mirror it doesn’t take me long to go running to God’s mercy seat to ask Him for forgiveness for how tough I have been on the “blind” – or, more precisely, to those who have fallen short because none of us is perfect in any way, shape or form.
And do you know what God reminds me? He reminds me that I need to forgive in order to be forgiven. I need to give in order to receive. I need to show mercy to receive mercy. I need to come out of my comfort zone, my safety zone, my place of familiar, to extend unto others the very same things that I want from Him. Love, grace, mercy, peace, forgiveness, kindness, etc.
I wish I could say the other dogs are treating Glory better than they were a few weeks ago when I first noticed what they were doing. But they are not. Of course, they are only dogs. But I am not. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and I not only have a responsibility to extend love, grace, forgiveness and mercy. I not only have a responsibility to reach out my heart and hand to help those in need. But I have the ability to do this – not in my own strength, but in His. Not through my own blindness, but through the sight God gives me. Not through myself, but through Christ.
How blind I have been! But in the light of God’s Word, I see the Truth. God has called me to grow in His image. And, in so doing, I see where I have so much growing to still do. And, thanks to a Father who not only chastens me, but teaches me, and then equips me, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am going to carry on growing in His image. With the eyes of my heart wide open, with this new sight He has given me, I invite others to join me on this journey of not merely believing in Jesus as Lord – but in following Him in the example He sets for us all.
Did it ever cross your mind that the blind eyes to which Jesus gave sight in the Bible might not have been physically blind at all? Perhaps they were eyes blind to Him, and eyes blind to the world and its needs? I thank God for physical eyes that see. But my spiritual eyes have fallen so very far short. By God’s grace, Jesus has helped my blind eyes to see.
What do I see? A world in need. What else do I see? A responsibility to show Christ’s love and forgiveness to the blind. What else do I see? That I have come a long way from trampling over those in need with a heart full of pride, arrogance, and selfishness, to a place of learning to repent when I fall short and to ask God to help me next time to please get it right. Oh, how I long to get it right all the time. But I don’t. I just thank God I can see well enough now to know when I fall short, to know when I need to repent, and to see more and more my opportunities to show God’s love and mercy to the world around me.
“The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.” Matthew 11:5 NASB
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7 NASB
14“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 ESV