Have you ever sensed God speaking to you in such a way that you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was His voice? More specifically, have you ever sensed the conviction of His spirit so profoundly - and so precisely - that you felt compelled to fall to your knees, right where you stood? Yeah, me too. This morning, in fact.
So I'm in church early this morning for sound check and practice, and I'm hearing my own voice in my monitor, singing words like "Take my heart and form it / Take my mind, transform it" and suddenly a mental image flashes into my brain: my prom picture. How spiritual, right? Chris had posted it on his profile yesterday, and we laughed and reminisced about it, and then I added it to my own photos, along with some disparaging comments about my pasty skin and fat face. I didn't think about, you understand. I just did it. It was an automatic, almost unconscious, response. Luke 6:45 tells us that "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks" (or the fingers type, as it were). I guess I might have a little darkness in my heart, to put it mildly.
As I often like to do with conviction, I shook it off and re-focused myself on the music. During the second service, I heard my voice in the monitor again, singing back to me, "I'm captured by Your holy calling / Set me apart / I know You're drawing me to Yourself / Lead me, Lord, I pray." Such a beautiful song. I've sung it more times in my Christian life than I can count, and yet each time it means something different to me. And this morning, try as I did to shake off that nagging sense of conviction, I felt that God was reminding me that if I am to be truly "set apart" for Him, and if I really want Him to "lead me, Lord, I pray", I must make some changes, both in my heart and between my ears. No more dissing myself in photos, or in storefront windows, or in the mirror. It's JUST not cool with Him. Whether it bothers me or not, HE doesn't like it one bit. Ouch.
And I still wasn't off the hook. I looked out at all those beautiful teenagers in the first three rows, just fifteen feet in front of me, and watched them as Eric sang, "Who are the treasured and the prized / Who is the apple of God's eye / Who is" and then they sang along with me, "We are, we are, we are!" Their sweet little faces made me cry. These are kids I love very much. These are girls I want to teach to love themselves and respect themselves and see themselves as God sees them. In fact, should I ever go back to school, it would be with the goal and the hope of equipping myself to work in such a capacity. But it looks like I may have far more work to do than can be done in the classroom. Heart work. Work that no one else can do for me. Work that hurts, like re-setting a bone that's been broken for thirty years. Am I up for it?I don't know, honestly. But if I want to help other women to build healthy self images, I had better be. Otherwise, I might as well stand before them and say, "Hi there, Pot. It's me kettle. Yeah, you're black."
So, what to do? Well, for starters, I plan to sit on my hands if I have to each time someone posts a photo of me that I don't like, to keep myself from typing out of the overflow of my goopy, sludgy heart. You can call me out on that if I screw up. And, I'll continue to sing my songs of praise to the One who is far more forgiving toward me than I ever have been. I should try being a bit more like Him.