Loves, I go to this place a lot and I will be there again today.  I call it the microscope but we may all recognize it as counseling.

What is counseling like?  Well, it is definitely not an easy thing to commit to doing for ourselves but if you endure, it will help you heal.  Certainly not overnight but the light does begin shining through each and every time.

It is an hour in which we put a microscope directly on all the pain, hurt, lies and voices of the world tells us about ourselves or perhaps that we do to ourselves.  You know that stuff that all of us endure, the point is we are all in this together.  The world hardens us, the microscope delivers us through it.  But you have to invest in yourself.

Rewind back to last December.  I'm sitting in the lobby just inside this door waiting for Miriam to greet me.  I look down at an alert and literally see the words you are a monster coming across the screen.  Downright mean wouldn't we all say?  You might say, what a horrible excuse for a person who is saying that about someone?  Well, they are not a horrible excuse for a person, they are Jesus's child and they were obviously hurting.  But that person also gave in to what the world says is okay, a lack of self-control in that moment and in that time.  They allowed that stuff to define them and define me.  The person they were calling a monster… well that was me.  I'm a monster.  Shit, that feels freaking great doesn't it?  That is some majorly awesome judging.  The tongue has no bones but it can massacre peeps.  I presume they felt an eye for an eye was okay but that is also what the world says.  Not my Jesus.

The professional therapist in the midst of this recommends the authorites be contacted. This is cyber bullying lives in its finest.  Jesus loves us all anyway.

Finally, all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds.  Don't repay evil for evil.  Don't retaliate when people say unkind things about you.  Instead, pay them back with a blessing.  That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it.  For the scriptures say, "If you want a happy life and good days, keep your tongue from speaking evil, and keep your lips from telling lies.  Turn away from evil and do good.  Work hard at living in peace with others.  The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers.  But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil."      1 Peter 3:8-12 (NIV)

In true Jesus fashion, it was not a coincidence this happened while I was sitting in this lobby receiving this so called truth about myself.  What happened?  Well, I pretty much lost it and I almost landed right back where I had just come from but here is truth loves…Darkness does not overcome light, it will never overcome light.  I'm not talking about this person as darkness, remember I just said they are a child of Him just as much as I am a child of Him.  The darkness is in all of us and the light is in all of us.  We have the choice to choose which one we will let overtake us.  In that moment, they chose darkness.  Right there in that moment, I chose light.  And Miriam and Jesus were right by my side in light.  I love my Jesus, he is the bomb!

So today I go back to my microscope and I take a hard long look at myself.  Not others, myself.  On extra hard days tears flow the entire hour and I'm usually exhausted for the rest of the day.  I rest but then I wake up full of strength peeps.  Full of truth and full of light.  It's hard as hell but it is so worth it.

Today's Devotion ~ In today's passage, Jesus and the disciples were celebrating Passover meal when Jesus shared a startling announcement: Someone at the table would betray him.  There was nothing about Judas Iscariot to indicate he was about to commit an act he would deeply regret.  Judas had hidden his internal battle well, even from those closest to him.  Judas walked closely with Jesus.  He witnessed the miracles Jesus had performed.  He loved him dearly.  Yet at some point, temptation crept in.  Everyone's battleground is different, but Judas' was greed.  Darkness has a scheme and that is to isolate God's people.  When we feel it, the instinct might be to pretend it is not happening, feel shame it is happening.  Stand in fear or stand in pride.  But our strongest move is to bring it to the light.  At any point, Judas could have gone to one of the disciples to tell them he was heading in the wrong direction.  They could have helped Judas.  He could have also gone to Jesus, who would empathize with his struggle and offer help.  Instead, he went to the men who conspired the demise.

"They were delighted and agreed to give him money." (Luke 22:5)

That friend who delights in darkness is no friend at all.  Here is the good news loves.  We are all Judas Iscariot and that is called a beautiful hot mess.

At any point we can choose a different path. 

Loved By Grace,