Stir

Seems I caused a bit of a stir with something I posted on Facebook last week.

I don’t see myself as a cape-wearing Defender of All That Is Good. I don’t want to be viewed as an uptight, legalistic Christian. I just want us to be in the world, not of it.

There is a popular Facebook site with a rather unpleasant – no wait, let’s call it what it is – there’s a Facebook site with a crude, profane expletive in its title. And while it may have useful, fun and interesting updates, every time one of my Facebook friends “liked” or “shared” the update, that crude, profane expletive showed up on my news feed. It made me wince every time.

And I realized that some folks have become so desensitized to the word, it hadn’t occurred to many of them that it was offensive. So I finally said something. And that’s what caused the stir.

Some cheered me on. Some got offended. Some felt guilty. But all I really wanted was for my Christian friends to think about how our lives are portrayed in social media through the things we “like” or “share”.

I’m not perfect. Far from it. And I’m quite sure I’ve offended others along the way and never even had a clue. So my post was a gentle reminder to myself as well. I need to be reminded who I represent here on this earth. I represent Christ even when I’m not intentionally thinking about it. I represent Him at work and at play. Others are watching. Others are listening…and reading.

Every minute of every day my life needs to be a reflection of the God who redeemed me. We don’t get a “day off” from being one of His. We can’t allow being “cool” and “relevant” and “envelope-pushing” or even being naive to interfere with our primary role of glorifying the One who desires us to live only for Him.

I didn’t mean to cause a stir. But sometimes we need to be stirred. All of us.

Including me.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak. Matthew 12:36

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. Colossians 4:6

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

Gifts

I got a Mother’s Day gift yesterday. No, no, I don’t have an announcement to make. But it was Mother’s Day and I did get a gift. Two, as a matter of fact.

My church decided to honor all the women in the congregation, not just those who are mothers, with a rose. It’s beautiful and it makes me smile. So often those of us without children or families of our own feel a little down on days like these. But the flowers and the words paid tribute to those women who invest in the lives of others in ways outside of the roles specifically assigned to parents.

And then later in the day I got a text that made me cry. But in a good way. A young woman I’ve known for years and who now lives on the other side of the country sent me a message to thank me for “sticking around” in her life. I knew what she meant. We’ve been through some challenging times together.

And as the tears streamed down my face, I realized something. I realized that we pray, “God use me”, but that sometimes we don’t know how God is answering that prayer. We don’t know what is going on behind the scenes, or how much time will go by until there is evidence of God’s hand.

But every once in a while, God pulls back the curtain. He lets me know my life makes a difference when I surrender it to Him. And even though I don’t have any children of my own, I can still invest in the lives of others as a “big sister” or “aunt” or simply…friend.

So while so many other women were celebrating with their children and grandchildren and families, I had a quiet moment of celebration with God, thankful for the gifts of a rose and a text and a reminder that He can still use me.

…strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith… Acts 14:22

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:20-21