"I hate your stinking guts. Love, Alfalfa."
You know we all have people we want to write that EXACT letter to. Those people who get so far underneath your skin that they go way beyond the epidermis layer (there was my geeky science reference for the day). But you KNOW that PERSON. The one who has that terrible Grinch-like smirk that completely nauseates you, that person who knows exactly how to push your buttons, that person who is as low as a group of people doing the "How Low can You Go" part of the Cha Cha Slide, that person who you know has horns hidden down there somewhere underneath all their hair, that person you wish you could go Carrie Underwood "carved my name into the side of his four wheel drive" or Gretchen Wilson "Redneck Woman" on them. But you can't. You know you can tell me all day long that there's no one in your life like that, but we both know you're lying. Don't worry, I'll forgive you for that. Moving along, I will admit that I have a few people in life I would absolutely love to hand-deliver, maybe even say to their face, the "scum between my toes" letter. But once again, I know I can't. So I just tell myself I am the bigger, better person. Well God came yanking on my high-horse reigns this past
Have you ever felt like you're being directly preached to? Where you start squirming, feel like the preacher's eyes might burn a hole straight through your body, wish you could have Dorothy's ruby-red slippers and disappear, and the rest of the paranoia experience. Well, I experienced this last Saturday at the Campus Crusades retreat. No, the speaker wasn't looking at me burning me with his eyes, but I was being tapped on the shoulder and heart by someone a LOT bigger who was saying "Hey, Stubborn. Listen up." The speaker was talking about how we needed to pray for our enemies and show compassion to those we could really care less about. I probably giggled internally thinking that I would rather have shots all day long than do that (I am terrified of needles). Then the speaker hit a line drive straight into the heart of Shelby McKenzie. He said,
"Do you not realize if it had not been for God's intervention in your life, you would be just like them?"
I was in shock. SHOCK. Are you kidding me God? I am NOTHING like those people. They are low and heartless and cannot be touched with a 10 foot pole without the risk of infection and are like Scrooge who almost destroys poor Tiny Tim's Christmas. I am SO much better than that. They are like a burlap sack, and I am a brand new Louis Vuitton handbag. That was pretty much the equivalent of what was running through my haughty mind.
So Shelby's pride was sitting on its throne until the guy's thought repeated itself in my mind. "If it had not been for GOD'S INTERVENTION, you would be just like them." Well, I immediately said "THANK YOU GOD for saving me from that wretched and awful destiny." (Yet once again, bad heart and sarcasm). Then, I though of Ephesians 2:8. "For by GRACE you have been saved through faith. And this is NOT BY YOUR OWN DOING. IT IS A GIFT FROM GOD."
Hello reinforcement of dethroning Shelby's pride. We are only good through God, His presence, and the salvation He offers. Like the verse clearly says, it is NOT of our own doing. It was a gift. Therefore, if it had not been for the gift of intervention, we, indeed, would be those people. THAT PERSON. So, the next time you encounter your Grinch-like person, don't send them your Alfalfa letter. Realize instead that if it had not been for the gift of Jesus Christ, we would all be the scum between the toes. Realize you are no different and no better than THAT person. Realize that they need prayer, and although it may take the Jaws of Life for us, we have to show compassion to these people. After all, God showed compassion to the scum between His toes.
Thank you God for loving my stinking guts.