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Come Rain or Come Shine: Remaining Stable No Matter the Weather

In December 2022 I fell down some stairs, broke my ankle and had to have surgery. As part of the recovery, I had to use a walker. One evening, I was sharing with some friends about my experience as a temporarily disabled person using a walker while out in “the world”. I shared how my walker made some people feel uncomfortable and wanted to avoid me. Some children watched me intently. Other adults didn’t seem to be affected at all, yet I did find most people to be helpful. Thankfully, I did not find anyone rude or discourteous. During my conversation, one friend asked me how I “preferred to be treated” as a temporarily disabled person. I think she was asking so she could learn further how to best treat someone with a walker. My initial reaction was I didn’t really care. They could stare or be uncomfortable or avoid me, as long as they weren’t rude. 

But I’ve had some time to reflect on this subject. Not of how I was treated while I temporarily needed a walker, but of my relationship to how people treat me in general. I came to realize I do not find it beneficial to focus on my preference of how people treat me. Instead, my focus is on how I respond and react no matter how I am treated. I want to become someone who is not at all moved by how others treat me – whether I’m treated well, indifferent, or rudely. I want my soul to stand firm in an immovability of mature and stable character in Christ, no matter how I am treated.

As followers of Jesus, it is Christ’s love in us that is not dependent or based upon how we are treated. It is based upon displaying the same characteristics of thought, word and deed no matter the shifting and changing treatment or circumstances -- because the roots of our soul are not grounded in the world we can see. Rather, we become grounded in another sphere, in the heart of God in Christ Jesus. This is where the nourishing, healing and empowering love of Christ can be found. This Love alone enables us to grow and be transformed into True Love - which is of Christ, from Christ, for Christ and through Christ.

When I consider the “love chapter” in scripture, the focus is never about how I am treated. It is about developing an inner stability of mature characteristics that weather well in all circumstances, which sometimes are displayed in outer actions. But mostly these characteristics come from a residing factor of my true motivation and source for loving which is only seen and tested by God Himself. 

I do not want to seek to be treated well by others or even to be thought well of by others. If those things happen, that is a pleasant bonus in life. If I seek after these things, then people can become an idol to me. And feeling good or having a good reputation can become an idol too. I do not want a life that gives room for even these seemingly harmless idols in my life, in my soul. That “sanctuary space” in my being is only reserved for pleasing my King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the only Faithful and True Witness of all aspects of my life -- my inner life and outer life.

Someday I will stand before Jesus on the Coming Day of Judgement. Because of his love for me, it is Jesus alone I long to please. So that is why I desire to learn how to fight hard to stand firm in the inner sanctuary of my soul to please him by displaying characteristics of Christ-like love, no matter how I am treated.

Love endures with patience and serenity,

Love is kind and thoughtful,

Love is not jealous or envious;

Love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant.

Love is not rude;

Love is not self-seeking,

Love is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered];

Love does not take into account a wrong endured.

Love does not rejoice at injustice,

but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail].

Love bears all things [regardless of what comes],

Love believes all things [looking for the best in each one],

Love hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times],

Love endures all things [without weakening].

Love never fails [it never fades nor ends].  - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (AMP)


Photos by Kelly Sikkema and Todd Kent on Unsplash.



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