You don’t always know when you’re under the watch of a surveillance camera in this day and age, do you? For that matter, you don’t always know whose eyes stare from behind the lens, do you? I received a warning just days ago that I figure I should pass on to those that might care. You are being watched. Like never before.
How do I know in my case? God told me. Yes, He really did. I am walking through fire in a particular area of my life, and it hurts like hell. I received a life-changing letter that was so utterly brief and so stunningly emotionless that I could barely believe how its seemingly lifeless words cut to the very core of me – and, once more, shattered my heart into yet more pieces. Just when I thought my heart was restored whole after all, I found myself looking around, bewildered, at the pieces sent scattering in all different, unreachable directions. One simple letter. About a decision. That would change the rest of my life. Without any emotion at all.
So, broken yet again, I crawled in my mind anyway on my hands and knees before the Lord. In my despair, I could not help but hear His warning loud and clear. I am being watched, He revealed to me. And not only am I being watched, but I have a very simple – and potentially life-transforming – responsiblity in the matter.
While for the umpteenth time every piece of my human flesh considered the countless ways I could respond to the writer of the letter – in bitterness, hurt, self-pity, anger, vengeance, retaliation, resentment, moaning, groaning, etc., I was quickly put in my place. By the Lord.
God reminded me I am being watched by the person who sent me the letter. Then He gave me my assignment in all this.
“I want you to show the person my love,” God told me. “I want the person to see my love.”
Then, over the following days, God continued to work in my heart. Over and over, I considered my response to the letter. I sat down at the computer, again and again, and wrote pieces and parts of letters – again and again.
Just when I thought my heart could not break any further, I found my heart doing just that – until all that was left was the plain truth. The Holy Spirit would not let me go until the chunks of selfish flesh came breaking off of me.
God showed me as I sobbed from the very depths of me that God could save the very person who had offended me through my response to the person and the situation the person had created. As the sobs tore through my body, I wondered how Jesus Christ could have taken on the sins of the world when it seemed this impossible for me to bear the consequences of the sins of one single person in my life.
The Lord reminded me through a friend recently that Jesus Christ already bore the sin of the person who had hurt me, and of course He bore all of the rest of ours, too – and all the pain that goes along with our sin.
I could not help but think – and feel – that I am walking through fire right now. But in the midst of the fire, as with the Hebrew boys in the Old Testament, is Jesus Christ Himself. And I am not only walking through fire. I have the opportunity to walk in His love, through the fire, safe and protected – and unharmed because of the price He paid on the cross.
I am under a surveillance camera. So are you. But the Lord is not the only one watching me. So is the person who offends me, the very one who is in dire need of Jesus like the rest of us. And I am faced with a choice – right in the eye of the camera.
I can show the offender the love of the Lord, and pray and believe the Lord will save that person – or I can miss my opportunity altogether. What will the person see when the person looks at me and how I handle the situation?
Will the person whose hungry eyes and hungry heart look through the camera at me and see sin just like so many other places that person looks, a reminder that the world is full of darkness?
Or will the person look through the camera and see the love of Jesus Christ? Will the person see Jesus beckoning, through His love, through my heart, and reach out, and receive, the love of our Father in heaven and the salvation of His Son who died for us all.
You are being watched. How will you respond the next time someone offends you? What will the offender see?
How about Jesus?
Respond – in love. As Jesus Himself would do – and have us do. So that the world, whether it be one person or the whole world, would see the only thing that really matters at the end of the day.
Jesus. Who had mercy upon us all.
Who asks us to do the same.