sometimes: making space for grace and compassion in action

 

Sometimes we forget to be grateful, fail to recognise how very blessed we are to sleep in a bed with a roof over our head, a table laden with food, cupboards bulging at the seams and a freezer stuffed full of extra provisions as well.

Sometimes we forget to thank God for daily graces, to see how wonderfully He provides for all our needs and how blessed we truly are in every conceivable way, even to simply wake up and breathe each day.

Sometimes news headlines and the constant media bombardment on our screens wash over us with lethargic indifference, fail to capture our attention or engender a compassionate response within—so inured can we become to a world’s distress, poverty and duress.

Then sometimes we STOP. Stop and put ourselves within another’s shoes, think about the people behind the news events, pause to ponder their predicament, examine their lives via our imagination and wonder what we can do to help them.

If we do, we might just see how much our Saviour loves and aches for them, become caught up with His heart in prayer, in care and compassion, in being living examples of His love and grace in action, and maybe in writing a poem about their plight…

What do we know?

Lord,

What do we know of empty, distended bellies

bereft of sustenance, where choice is an unheard

of word and survival is the name of the game; where life

itself hangs by a slender thread and starvation

haunts each waking moment like a skeletal spectre

rattling its chains and calling your name?

 

What do we know of owning just one set of clothes to drape

across our diminishing frame; one pot in which to cook

a few dry grains, if we’re one of the lucky ones with

something at hand to eat today, instead of foraging,

walking miles with weary tread to gather a handful

of flowers—mere weeds to water our thirsty bodies?

 

What do we know of watching our children shrinking

before our very eyes, becoming wasted, emaciated, aged

way before their time, lying still with barely enough energy

to play or cry, their voices weak and eyes now clouded,

sad, pleading, bleak—breaking our own aching hearts

while we cradle them close, watching them suffer and die?

©joylenton2017

“Then these ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you taking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you? Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me'” ~ Matthew 25: 37-40 The Message

Fuel to light a fire

In these dark days of Winter we need all the help we can get to stay hopeful and encouraged.

Some seasons of the soul have their own gloomy aspect.

Fog swims in to cloud our vision.

Hope gets lost. Despair can set in. Depression is at its heels.

How can we encourage ourselves? Here are a few ideas:

Stay focussed on the positive. There is always a glimmer of light somewhere.

Keep a daily gratitude journal.

Nurture yourself inwardly and outwardly.

Feed on God’s word.

Seek the balm of friendship and support from loved ones.

Finding ways to help and encourage others will restore joy to our own souls too.

Some more thoughts on encouragement for #fiveminutefriday where we pour out words as God gives grace:

START…

‘Encouragement’

Encouragement is the fuel which lights a fire

of hope to all our dreams and desires.

Life can seem worth living again

under the sprinkle of its refreshing rain.

A word in due season can impart

a soothing balm to a broken heart,

Holy oil to bathe wounds and hurts

as it pours into everywhere we insert.

Life-giving, enhancing, gift and grace

to anoint and energise us for our race.

Whether by caring word or deed

we sow love and kindness seed.

And it gives and gives and gives some more

returning to us when we’re wretched and poor,

lighting a spark when energy is low

providing far more than we’ll ever know.

So God encourages us all to strive

to pour this gift into another’s life ~ 

A listening ear, understanding, a hand to hold,

words and actions together make it twofold;

let it be given as we also enjoy receiving

the reassurance it offers to keep on believing.

©JoyLenton2014

STOP.

Joining here with Lisa-Jo, Mel and Laura and other brave and bold creatives as we share what God lays on our heart .

And for further encouragement ~ because don’t we just need it? ~ here’s a link to my writer friend James Prescott’s site where he specialises in the subject and has some great free resources to offer you too. Just click on his name to be taken there.