Sunday, August 12, 2012

Time to Dust

Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.

Matthew 10:14

Daily I am in contact with a person who lacks the capacity to receive encouragement. I am perplexed by this individual's resistance to smiles and words of hope. Lately I began to feel discouraged, as I found myself focused on trying to find creative ways to penetrate the doom and gloom of this person's perspective. So I did what any normal person would do when all attempts fail, I threw a pity party for myself and found I was the only invited guest present. As I sat entertaining the idea that perhaps not all was lost, and that maybe I had not tried hard enough, a "human dust cloth" entered my realm and dusted off my memory. For the next 45 minutes this downcast soul poured out the lament of a heart hurting, seeking, and broken. I sat listening and occasionally offering words of hope and encouragement. Thirsty, this soul drank in the offer and left voicing both an enlightened and lighter heart. 

This moment reminded me of the message that Jesus taught His disciples; "Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words [God's word's]...shake off the dust and move on (emphasis mine)." I had been obsessed with offering encouragement to a soul tethered to misery and resistant to offers of a changed perspective, while another begged to be set free. God used this moment to remove the dust of self-validation I was seeking from someone who prefers their misery to hope.

Who are you allowing to lay dust over the message of hope and encouragement that another needs to hear? Shake off the dust of discouragement that rejection lays down and move toward the soul willing and ready to embrace change.The old adage that "one man's junk is another man's treasure" is about understanding that what you have to offer will be rejected by some but sought after as a diamond by others. The message of hope and encouragement should never be allowed to suffer under the dust of rejection. Pull out the dust cloth and move on.  

Today, Lord, I seek your perspective. Change my heart. Keep me pure. Remind me that all is not lost to those who reject your hope. Open my eyes to those who are ready to hear your words. Prepare me to shake off the dust of rejection and move toward the one thirsty and ready to embrace you. Thanks for reminding me to persevere and seek the willing. In you, oh Lord, is my hope. Amen.

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