In a still moment, on the second floor of this building, I look out the window to the world around me. Life is happening.
I feel a very tangible presence of God. It's a gloriously heavy, tipsy feeling that hugs my body and my heart. It makes me smile.
I am reminded of God's desire and love for me. Always for me. Always kind. Always loving. It is the love that my heart has been longing for.
I am totally smitten with the creator of the universe. Not because I can bring much to the relationship, but because He loves me so perfectly. I can put the world on hold and it feels like it is only me and Him.
The weight of the rock
But amongst this beauty I am sensing a heaviness within me—it is the weight of the judgement rocks. The rocks we throw every day at others. Our perception. Our opinion. Our judgement.
You've probably shared in these times. I know I have. They are the little (or big), private (or very public) comments that you feel rising up within you. You feel you are in the best position to be making these calls and for some reason permitted to have these moments.
You collect up a rock off the ground.
'There was a woman raped on the street. She was probably wearing a short skirt ...' (rock thrown)
'The terrible accident on the highway—the car driven by a teen. He was probably drunk ... and speeding'. (rock thrown)
'The woman with the gay kids. She's probably done something evil to cause that'. (rock thrown)
'That young girl. 22 years old and pregnant with no husband. What a tart. She's probably just doing it for Centrelink benefits'. (rock thrown)
Perhaps you should stop for a moment and think. 'Maybe I'm wrong?' or 'What if this hurts the other person?'
Every day we are given the opportunity to let go of our rocks of judgement and condemnation and walk in love and grace.
Showing, and operating in grace is a choice. A choice to show others Jesus' love. A choice to not bomb them with a rock. A decision to drop the rock.
Thrown rocks do nothing ...
... except hit a person.
A person possibly already in enough pain. And if they aren't in pain, you're sure going to change that.
When there is a curved ball in your world
What do you do when you meet a refugee with a horror story of war and they tell you that all they escaped with was their life?
What do you do when two out of four of your children tell you they're gay?
What do you do when your sister reveals details of her painful and distressing abortion?
What do you do when your best friend confides in you about their adultery?
What do you do when your husband tells you he's been gay your whole 25 years of marriage?
What do you do when your relative tells you they identify as transgender?
A real testimony
Recently I found out I have a relative that is transgender. This is his mini-testimony:
I am broken. I have nothing to bring. I stand out condemned by the righteous and forsaken ... but not by God. My true self is being expressed in the glowing freedom of God's grace, compassion and love. No more shame, no more condemnation and a deeper awareness of His presence even through the difficulties of my transitioning experiences.
Drop the rocks
And as we enter into this beautiful opportunity to let our rocks fall to the ground, we are suddenly gifted with wonderful friendships and lines of communication to people that previously would have been cut off due to our rock throwing sessions.
Dropping your rock changes your heart, your attitude, your perspective and your purpose. Look out into the stillness, or into the busyness of life and be aware of His presence. His love will permeate your inmost being.
You won't be able to do anything ...
but ... drop the rock.
Belinda Croft has been writing for Press Service International since 2010. In 2015 she won the PSI Basil Sellers Australian Young Writer of the Year Award. She lives on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland with her husband Russell and their three children. Her passion for understanding the things of God in simple ways, social justice and current news influence her writing style.
Belinda Croft's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/belinda-croft.html