Sea creatures are fascinating. The little octopus held me captive while visiting an aquarium and I stared at it for several minutes. At the same time I shook off the willies that sent chill bumps up the skin of my back. How can something so alluring be so repelling at the same time?
Touching a starfish and a couple sea urchins, I was surprised that they were very stiff. I thought they would have some give, maybe like play dough or a pin cushion. Their movements in the water were so graceful it looked as if they would be flexible to the touch. The way they look and move in their habitat gives a different impression of how they feel to the touch.
Uh oh – am I like the starfish and sea urchin? Having the appearance of being approachable, do I give an invitation but have a tough surface when people get close enough? I’m afraid sometimes I do. Many of us do.
There is a protective coating around our hearts, an inner layer to keep a distance. Of course, it’s important to know who to trust. However, I find myself not even engaging in the preliminaries of getting to know someone simply because it takes so much effort.
What’s my excuse? I can wear the badge of the introverted proudly. But seriously, if calling myself an introvert stops me from allowing contact with people I could befriend, is it a badge or a suit of armor? A white picket fence or a ten-foot privacy wall?
Favoritism was the topic of discussion at a Bible study on the book of James. Favoritism is picking and choosing who we will give audience to. Like a king who requires people to bow prostrate before him, face down on the palace floor until he chooses to lift their face. Or not. A person could lay there all day and night, get walked on, and passed by without being acknowledged by the king. They never get the opportunity to bring their issue to the attention of their king because he doesn’t choose to see them.
What makes one person worthy and another not?
Do I do this? Sometimes.
I am ashamed.
So, I approach the throne of my King Jesus and lay prostrate before Him ready to beg forgiveness. But, this King of mine does not leave me lying on the floor. This King does not step over and ignore me. This King, my example, lifts my face so I can look into His eyes of forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
He lifts my head, picks me up, sets my feet on solid ground and asks me to do the same. Show love. Be merciful. Be one who will lift the face of the person He puts before me so they can see Him in me.
But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
Psalm 3:3 NASB