Recently, while sitting at my computer, I looked out my window to notice a familiar square truck, backing into my driveway as it does many times a month. As I watched the door in the back open, I noticed something. The box, now in my driveway, was marked “fragile” in very large letters on 4 or 5 sides. Not only did it say “fragile”, but I could see a soft ball size hole pretty much right through the “a” on one side of the box. You can imagine my thoughts as I watched the man I trust with important deliveries, bounce my “fragile” box down the driveway, up my steps and to my door. I mentioned to him that it said “fragile” and that didn’t seem to faze him, and what he said next to me, I’m pretty sure would not be appropriate to repeat here.
I was just plain mad. Not just a little mad, but really really mad. Almost immediately I heard that voice in my spirit. You know the one. Sometimes in these situations we have to really pay attention or we might miss it, but I heard it loud and clear. “Love him”. “Love him God; did you just see what happened?” I heard it again. “Love him.”
So a little time passed. I really wanted to be obedient. The thoughts started flowing in my mind about loving your enemies (Matthew 5:44). Was this delivery man really my “enemy”? He didn’t really fit the criteria in my mind of an “enemy” yet God kept putting that into my mind. And then again, “love him.” I was having a hard time understanding what that even meant at this time. What did it mean to “love him”? Did it mean to choose to forgive him? Did it mean to just let it go…not call and complain? What did “love him” really mean? If I read the rest of the verse, it answers these questions, but I hadn’t gone into my Bible at this time. I have found that sometimes Holy Spirit will put these references in my mind and I will ponder them in my own thoughts. I should learn that if I would actually go and look, He is answering every question I have.
More time passed and the box was sitting in my entry way as a lovely reminder of a few hours before. My husband came home and decided he better open it up and see what the damage was. As he peeled layer after layer off the box he noticed that the hole went right through. In fact the hole went through 3 layers of cardboard and a layer of styrofoam. That was an impressive hole! As each layer came off, I was starting to get a clearer and clearer picture from God. What if that box happened to be a picture of the man himself? Or, any person we come in contact with for that matter. Each of us has a life full of experiences, layers and layers of life we have lived and some hurts penetrate all of them.
Interestingly enough, the goods on the inside were untouched. It was completely perfect. Did you know that when you are born again, the Word says that you are a new creation in Christ? Your human spirit is completely made new by the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet, some of us have a perfected inner spirit and still layers of life get in the way, and holes and hurts in those layers keep it from showing through at times. And…if you don’t know Jesus, that hole may go right into your spirit.
Well, all at once, the compassion hit me and I knew what I was supposed to do to “love him”. I prayed for him. I really believe that quite possibly that man just needed some good prayer for him that day. And you know what else? Suddenly the burden and offense I was carrying…that icky can’t get past it feeling deep down in my gut…disappeared. It was gone.
As we are in the midst of this Christmas season, it is important to remember that this season can bring those hurts to the surface in some people that may be deep down inside the rest of the year. It’s important to remember that each person we come in contact with – our neighbors, our family, and the stranger in line at the store – has had layers of life, and sometimes, most of the time, there are hurts. So, when that family member says something to you that just drives you mad…”love her”. When that person runs you over with a cart in Target and doesn’t even notice you are there…”love him”. They maybe just need a little extra prayer that day.
Maybe you are reading this and you are the one with the hole/hurt that is surfacing this Christmas season. What should you do? The first and most important step is to make Jesus the Lord of your life. That is the thing that will fix up that human spirit inside you. But, not only that, it will start you on the path, with the right tool, the Holy Spirit, to begin healing in all the layers on top. It’s easy. The Word says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” Romans 10:9. It’s that easy, say that Jesus is your Lord and believe he is your Lord and was raised from the dead. You can pray it, you can tell someone else, but if it’s in your heart it’s done. You are born again.
Maybe, you are already born again and the inside is a new creation but you still have some healing to do. Guess what, you are not alone. I would say pretty much all of us have some healing to do somewhere. The thing that I have found to speed the healing the fastest is forgiveness. It is the thing that changes the holes to whole. You can choose to forgive someone, even if you don’t feel like it. You can say it out loud and sooner or later it happens. If you need some more on this subject, there are a few other articles here on Bridging the Gap that can help. Freedom In Forgiveness is another one that I have written that comes from my heart about how I learned to forgive.
Let’s remember the reason for the season. Let’s remember that Jesus was born into an imperfect world in an imperfect way to help make our human spirits new creations when we believe Him. Let’s find our Joy in that this season. And remember when someone hurts you…they may, at this time be “fragile”…just handle with care. “Love them.” Merry Christmas!
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)