Chole identifies several groups that were in proximity to Jesus as He was dying on the cross.
Perhaps two people were silenced by grief or gently sobbing.
The others were taunting Him, mocking Him and reveling in His [apparent] inability to save Himself or be rescued by the Father He claimed close connection to.
They had no idea that His death was a last act of willing submission and laying aside of His power, position and possible retribution against those who had put Him there.
Love held Him to the cross-not nails or impotence.
So today I fast criticism.
I will fast judging others based on half-truths or even whole ones that cast them into a role other than as an image-bearer of our God.
Every single person I meet is bearing up under some kind of burden. Every face I see has an untold story behind the smile, frown, scowl or tears.
And every single human being is known and loved by the God who made them and the Savior who died to redeem them.
Today, fast criticism. From the clerk moving slowly to the homeless vet on the streets, consider carefully that Jesus knows them by name. Today, seek to know more, assume less, and air prayers for Jesus’ ‘least of these’ boldly in the presence of your shared Father God.
Alicia Britt Chole
**As promised, I am sharing thoughts on 40 DAYS OF DECREASE (a Lenten journal/devotional). If you choose to get and use the book yourself, I’ll be a day behind in sharing so as not to influence anyone else’s experience. **
When my kids were young we watched a movie in which one of the female characters worked hard to keep up a perfect appearance in hopes of “catching her man”. But all her efforts were undone by a child who saw through the fake.
“Does your face hurt?”, asked the little girl, referring to the obvious strain required to try to keep that smile exactly right.
I’ve often thought about how much energy I’ve wasted trying to pretend that I’m something I’m not.
It’s especially tempting to put on that “holy habit” when I walk through the doors of church or gather for a women’s ministry event.
Wear the right thing, say the right thing, never let my guard down or confess to struggling.
I am guilty of affirming and rewarding others who look like they have it all together while sometimes ignoring or marginalizing those who are clearly having a hard time. This only perpetuates the ongoing pressure to “measure up” lest we be found wanting.
But Jesus does not ask me to “fake it til I make it”.
He invites me to come with all my mess and lay it at His feet where He will turn ashes to beauty and bring fruit from barrenness as I abide in Him.
I love, love, love what Alicia Britt Chole says: “Our reality doesn’t frustrate Jesus. Our hypocrisy does.”
So for (at least!) one day fast facades.
Take off the mask. Be real.
He already knows.
**As promised, I am sharing thoughts on 40 DAYS OF DECREASE (a Lenten journal/devotional). If you choose to get and use the book yourself, I’ll be a day behind in sharing so as not to influence anyone else’s experience.**