Busy in my literary garage with a Black and Decker table saw on the workbench, buzzing and retrofitting planks for my writing platform, I blew out a frustrated breath. I’d received an email that day about a difficult person, and I wasn’t prepared to deal with the tense situation.
That night as I lay in bed, I reviewed my writing to-do list. But painful memories of the woman’s harsh words and mean-spirited actions were sharp, protruding nails that I slammed with white-hot anger on the workbench of my heart. I howled as I missed the board and slammed the hammer onto my hand. Youch!
I sat up and switched on the lamp at my bedside. Hot tears slid down my cheeks. I asked Jesus how to pray.
I used to figure that God was crazy-busy with the 6.9 billion people on the planet, so I’d beg, implore, plea bargain, and bang on the ceiling to get His attention. But one day, I found that I could pray from heaven’s perspective. Jesus said, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Luke 11:2).
When I prayed from heaven about the woman, I saw behind an aggressive exterior, a warrior’s heart struggling to exchange the enemy’s lies for God-truths. But I still wasn’t ready to accept her abrasive words and actions.
So I prayed and asked Jesus what He saw.
I had a vision of Jesus and myself peering into the well of my heart. I didn’t like what I saw. Chunks of hard rock and gray, grimed sediment lined the well. Slime and mosquitoes floated on the putrid water surface. Yuck.
We left Sludge City, and Jesus led me to a grassy slope on the side of a hill with a rushing, gushing stream, and He extended His palm to a nearby well of fresh blue water. It was the most splendiferous thing I’d ever seen.
Jesus said, “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us” (Luke 11:4). I understood that I needed to forgive myself for a bitter attitude. Forgiving the difficult person might free up some brain space and emotional energy I needed to be a more productive thinker and writer.
Deep within the human soul are two wells. One has the grime of resentment and unforgiveness. The other is one of cool, pure, clear grace—a well of magnificent mercy. Recklessly undeserved grace. Irrational Christ-love. Christ-joy. We get to choose which to draw from.
So what comes next? First, I plan to do some soul-searching and forgive the woman, even if I’m not thrilled about it. Next, I’ll imagine her success—even if that’s a big stretch. Finally, I’ll listen and agree with Jesus’ counsel on next steps, no matter how irrational. Agreeing in advance with heaven’s perspective sometimes comes with a steep cost.
Betcha, though, regardless of what it will cost, the Savior will provide some crazy inside-out upside-down Kingdom reward. I just know it. I just know Him.
So bring it, Lord. Your Kingdom come, pure well be done.
Imagine the possibilities!