The Edge

The Edge

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I Know I Am

And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Mt 9:10-13)

Jesus ate dinner with the outcasts of society, the people that others, wrapped in their feather-padded pews, went out of their way to avoid.

He wasn't afraid to be seen with a tax collector, a group of lepers, an adulteress, a Samaritan in an unmarried relationship, a mad man who cut himself with stones.

This thought convicts me. I've seen more than one group of well-dressed "Christian" saints, ensconced in their perfect bubbles where the air is clean and the ground is sanitized, turn their noses up because something might taint them.

Jesus didn't do that. When a woman kissed His feet, He forgave her. When a man was let down through the ceiling of a house, He healed him. When He hung on the cross, He forgave the thief at his side and the people who put Him there.

He rubbed shoulders with the rich, the poor, the ungodly, the porn addict, the drug dealer, the carjackers of his day. He touched the untouchable.

How can we, as lights of the world, be like Him when we're afraid to step outside of the shield we've built up in front of us?

Nowhere in the Bible does it say to live that way. In fact, we're told we're IN the world to make a difference. Let's be honest. Which draws someone to Christ ... the judgmental church-goer who hears a curse word and cleanses her ears? Who shakes a visitor's hand and then gets out his hand sanitizer? Who tells their friends on Facebook or Twitter how some "horrible person" posted this or that and they're SUPPOSED to go to church?

I hope that's not you.




Stand up on the pew and be counted, my friend, instead of hiding behind it. It's a spot to learn, not a throne for you to hold court. It's a place of prayer and study, of worship and dedication, so that when you leave that place, when the guy at the gas station with a beer in his hand says, "Good morning," you're not looking at him thinking, "Oh, yeah, and how much have you drank?"

Because Jesus didn't do that. Jesus shook that man's hand and said, "I love you."

Ask yourself now if you can do that and if not, be convicted. I know I am.

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Suzanne D. Williams

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I Feel Better

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Mt 18:21-22)

Have you seriously tried that?

Which time did that insult spat from careless lips sit right with you? Number forty? Number two-hundred and twenty nine?

Speaking from my own experience, it gets harder and more painful each time, not easier, until hearing the same person make the same negative remark becomes too much, and I start to wonder at what point is God going to step in and make them stop?

Am I supposed to sit there and take this again and again, my heart being ripped further and further to shreds each time? Pounding and pounding, each blow making that place inside a little more tender than it was. And me more afraid it won't stop. That it'll happen again. Unpredictable.

Me always on my toes, head turned, eye squinched, waiting for those words to hit me because I know there's more out there.

Never able to relax. Never able to breathe.

Seventy times seven is too long, Lord! I can't do it!

And don't you judge me, you sitting there in your peaceful room, you spouting out how, "the Lord won't give me more than I can bear." As if that's comforting.

Gee, thanks, I feel better.

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Gal 6:2)

You know who helps me the most in moments like that? The person who said they understood, that all the emotion and discouragement I have is exactly how it really is, and I don't have to deny I feel that way.

That I can cry, and they won't feel any worse about me. That they've been in my shoes, reacted exactly how I did, and somehow managed to get up and walk again.That person lifted my burden way more than the clear-skinned saint.

They helped me know I'm not alone. Know that when I hit rock bottom someone will take my hand, feel my pain and pray.

Thinking on this further, what if I can be that person? What if when you are hurting, I can sit with you in that puddle of despair, instead of peddling advice from my easy chair? What if I'm not afraid to get a little dirt on me in the process?

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15)

Jesus wasn't. He touched lepers, ate dinner with outcasts, protected a woman taken in adultery, let another clean his feet with her hair. He spoke with Samaritans, children, demoniacs.

He slogged through the trenches, getting more and more muck on his shoes, unafraid of the consequences of feeling our hurt.

Shouldn't I follow that example? Shouldn't you?

Maybe you're the person who keeps tossing out the insult. Maybe you're the one who places someone into the pit of depression. If so, wake up and shut up.

Jesus never did that either.

His was the ultimate life of love concluded with the ultimate act of love for the person who most needed love, and that's how we should be.

Not holier than thou, but exactly like thou.

And when all is said and done, exactly like Him. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel better.

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Suzanne D. Williams

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Where's Your Edge?


The edge is the point of almost falling off...from friends, family, life, a job. You're done or want to be. My edge is what makes me stumble, fall, grip tighter or want to give up and it's different for everyone.

I wonder how many people are hanging off the edge right now, barely able to hang on.

Some are calling out for help, others have given up and are contemplating letting go.

And then there's the church, most of us at the top of the cliff and a safe distance away from danger.

God's given each of us a talent, whether you know what that is or are continuing to search. Others choose to ignore and don't care what their "calling" is.

Jesus told stories that people of his time related to...crops, inheritance, stones, foundation, temples.

Our stories are relatable. Some will preach. Many will cause you to fall on your face (and I will not define that). Demons will flee, depression lift, the call of God louder than the worlds to an individual who's been looking for Him, consciously or not.

Other stories will be so subtle, they look like the world in their quagmire, like the prodigal son eating and sleeping with the pigs.

 It all comes down to the Great Commission. There are some people only an arms reach from you. Maybe you have the longest rope in your hands, but have ignored it's presence or refused to cast it out for various reasons, most of them fear-based.

People are waiting for your message. Even those hanging and longing to be saved or just left alone, have a truth and a testimony that God is just waiting to use for His glory.

Psalm 38