I’ve been thinking about those Sandpaper People in my life. You know the ones I mean – those “extra grace required” folks. The ones who take often and need even more often. They rub you the wrong way with just a word. Opinions are spouted. Indignation is their default. It’s their way or the highway.
And you wish, For The Love, that just once, they’d opt for the highway.
But, as I was thinking on these folks, and asking God for greater patience with them, He showed me something else, entirely. Instead of receiving an extra measure of grace to deal with those people, I received an extra length of rope to hang my pride with.
“Hold your heart up to a mirror, child.”
Oh God! Not me…
He says nothing. But in the quiet moments, conversation after situation after comment rush into my mind. And self-reflection smarts. I’m rubbed raw, in fact, by all of the sandpaper inside my heart. I recognize that I am the one for whom extra grace has been required, lately.
And, my need to get quiet with this Truth right here becomes obvious:
Love is not always convenient. And love – real love – takes some mighty and serious sacrifice, at times. This, I know to be true, because it was modeled for me. On a cross. By The Only One who could model it perfectly. In such humility as I cannot even fathom.
The King made low. Willingly.
It’s modeled right in my home, too. By Sweetman. Until I met him, I’d never met a saint, but I hear they were masters of Bearing With Patience. And I’m here to tell you that patience like that? It wins every time. Because of Love.
Gentleness, too, is modeled by the friends who come alongside my Harsh and soften it. With their encouragement, with their words, and with their very presence. Because of Love.
I’m desperately in need of grace. With each new realization of my own sandpaper moments, my pride comes crashing down. Sometimes, I’m laid low, so very unwillingly.
Because of Love, the extra grace that’s been required around here is given. To overflowing. And I find that it rubs my rough places a bit smoother.
Those who were wishing I’d get on that highway? The good news is that I’m on it! And the destination is a place with more humility, gentleness, and patience.