Embraced

​  “The High and Lofty One who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.”” – Isaiah 57:15 

THIS is what Christmas is all about! We get on our soap boxes and put on our superior attitudes, and what does it accomplish? A temporary ego boost? That fleeting feeling that we are better than someone? 

“The High and Lofty One who lives in eternity, The HOLY ONE!” He, the Holy One, Jesus, came to earth to be born in a stable and to die a brutal death on the cross to show us how much He cares. Jesus wasn’t stingy with his feelings or His meager belongings or even His Mother. He shared EVERYTHING, and most importantly He shared His life-blood so that I could have LIFE eternal  with Him.

I find it difficult to share anything,  let alone EVERYTHING. I would lay down my life to save my family, but I struggle to embrace them. Being a friend means reaching out and caring and listening. It’s a real struggle for me to do this. It’s not because I don’t care,  because I do – VERY much. At times I envy people who make it look so simple and effortless. Like Sheldon and the boys (AND girls! – on the TV show The Big Bang Theory), I find myself struggling when interacting with others, whether it is family and friends,  or co-workers, or strangers. I try to cover by making jokes or being sarcastic, and that doesn’t work in most situations! I am the wallflower in social gatherings because it is quite literally painful for me to have to reach out to people I don’t know. At work, I try to keep my head down and focus on the task at hand. I’ve been told to “keep it genuine” or “light and polite.” I’ve been called rude and heartless. I care; I really do. My empathy and comfort -giving genes seem to be lost in the maze of my brain. If you don’t understand, watch The Big Bang Theory and Sheldon. 

I’m sure there will be people who read this who will say I’m just making excuses. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. God restores me and He revives my broken spirit. Whether at work or play, I depend on Him to restore me. I couldn’t do anything without God! The hurt, the broken, the lost, and the lonely are all around us among our friends and families and coworkers. it might be the sales person or the cashier when you are shopping.

As hard as it is for me to reach out to people, I’ve found that the more I lean on the LORD for His understanding, it’s becoming a little easier all the time to be patient with slow lines and bad traffic. I can be pleasant to the cashier, and I’m not quite as paralyzed in social gatherings as I have been in the past. Jesus came here to embrace us all. Seems the least we can – should – do as His followers is to show a little kindness and offer His Grace to others, especially now as people are going a little crazy with the whole commercial holiday craze. Work with me to put a little CHRIST back into Christmas this year.

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