Do you think we would treat people differently if we could see inside their prayer journals? If we could read their broken hearts? If we could feel their biggest dreams?
I know we would.
I know you would hug that annoying co-worker if you read her tear-stained prayer journal and realized how much anxiety she was struggling with.
We would smile at the girl we pass in the hallway who never smiles back because we’d see the word “insecure” written 100 times.
We would care so much more about how her heart is instead of focusing on what she said or what she’s wearing or who she’s dating.
I’m aiming to live this year acting like I’ve read every person’s prayer journal. I’m asking God to show me their fears and dreams and disappointments. I want to see them and love them like He does. And I’m asking Him to show others the same about me. I’m believing in more compassion from me and for me. Because He is a kind God.
It all ties to the idea of being kind to everyone you meet because you never know what they’re going through.
I recently had my feelings hurt so badly. And I do tend to get my feelings hurt a lot, over the silliest things, but this one really hurt. Someone made a comment bathed in malicious intent, and they knew my heart was hurt by the look on my face. I tried to shake it off, but after the fact, when I was alone, my lip quivered and I curled up in God’s arms so He could hold me like the upset child I was.
He whispered some really sweet words to me and reminded me how loved I am. He even shared a secret with me, and I remembered He is my friend even when I feels like I have none.
And then I wrote this little poem. And I never write poems, but it’s what He let pour out of me in my moment of heartache.
I want you too see inside my prayer journal for just a minute. And then I want you to think about people you know and imagine what might be in theirs.
I tiptoe my words as if they’re walking through a landmine.– Inside my prayer journal
Will a bomb go off? Will the eye rolls wreck my soul?
Will what they think of me begin to orchestrate the way The Orchestrater has already directed me to speak and step?
I’m tired of holding back what God has asked me to release into the world.
He is my approval and my light.
Being bright is not a sin when the Source is Christ.
Let it shine, my friend, let it shine.
Don’t let the world snuff your sparkle. You were made for more than just a flicker.
I’m sure many of us have spoken words that have broken hearts and ended up in prayer journals. And because we have offended, we forgive offenses.
“Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.” Ecclesiastes 7:21-22
But in an effort to love bigger and better, let’s think about the words we say being written on a page before we pour them out.
I used to be so easily offended and have prayed for God to break that chain hundreds of times. And He is healing me — hallelujah! But the existence of a spirit of offense does not give anyone the green light to offend. We can’t use that phrase as an excuse to abuse the heart of another.
As I wrote that prayer poem down, sitting in the lap of Jesus, I thought of the pens being put to paper all over the world asking Him for help, for guidance, for love.
We are all here together, you know. We are all on the same team. And we have the power within us to encourage and refresh every person we meet.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:8-10
So, ask God for a peek inside the souls of people around you — the people you love, the people who are hard to love, the people you barely know, and the people who need you most. You never know what they wrote down that morning. You never know what they cried out to God last night.
And hey, your kind words might just end up on the praise page of their notebook tomorrow.