Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Bad Samaritan

            I had a shocking revelation this week.  Two people sat down with me and, after I asked, described me as aloof, cold, and withdrawn.  One of these people is a Christ follower and one is not.  One is a close friend and one is not.  Yet, both of them see me the same way.  Something is wrong.  Those harsh adjectives that they used, in love, to describe the way people see me, hit me like a barrage of blows.  I never, in a million years, thought that anyone saw me that way.  This revelation knocked the breath out of me and it turned my world around…for the better. 
            It is sometimes painful to look in a mirror, but it’s necessary.  The same can be said about peering into one’s own soul and facing a harsh reality.  You can live your life with an intent to NOT seem a certain way to people, then irony shows its ugly face and you realize that the very thing you wanted people to not think of you is what they really see when they see your face.  It’s true for me.  I always wanted people to know that I cared about them, but I didn’t know how to show it. 
            I was bullied growing up—physically and verbally, all the way from childhood to my senior year of high school.  Consequently, I had only one or two friends ever in my life.  I wasn’t social and was always intimidated by everyone.  From my perspective, everyone was always smarter, more beautiful, more fit, faster, or more popular than I was (the list could go on).  Even now, at almost 30 years of age, I still view people that way.  I am also task- and goal-oriented, which, when paired with my intimidation of people, comes across to others as aloof, cold, and withdrawn. 
            As I have prayed through this situation the last few days and reflected on past actions and scenarios, I realize that what I saw as just trying to get my daily overload of responsibilities accomplished, other people saw as me being withdrawn and not willing to help or work with others.  Oh, how my soul hurts for my actions, but I am so thankful that God has shown me my error and has given me another chance to right my wrongs as He purifies me from within.  My heart feels broken because I think about all the people who I left by the side of the road who needed my help or attention, just like the people passed by the beggar on the side of the road in the Bible before the Good Samaritan stopped to help.  They were too busy with their own to-do lists and self interests to help someone in need.  I pray that I would NEVER do that again, that I would never be so self-absorbed that I leave people out to dry to fend for themselves when I can help, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel if I actually have to be social.
            So, what Satan intended for evil, God intended for good.  Satan would love for me to wallow in self-pity and get so discouraged with someone actually describing me in a raw way, that I quit pursuing God, but I can’t.  I have too many people to help and so much growing to do!  I can’t wait to see what will come next on this journey.  I will never be perfect, but I love the growing process.  My Jesus, thank You, and please continue to sift out the evil in me, bring it to the surface, and help me change.