Shine Your light in our brains, Jesus. Show us the good You see in others. And when we just can’t see it, give us faith that it’s there and grace to treat them accordingly. Fill our bellies so full of the grace we’ve received ‘til we feel like kids who drink so much water, it sloshes in their bellies. Let it slosh over our edges to bless and cool the people next to us because they are hot under the blazing criticism the world dishes out.
Let our words be cool, life-giving drinks of water. Help us retire our Nazi Mommy hats, or Nazi Christian hats or Nazi Healthnut hats. Instead of killing people’s gumption with machine gun words, help us be like air that fills a saggy tire until it’s bouncy and firm again.
You bring life, Jesus. Clean our gunk out, please, so we can be a pipe that brings your life toward people. Thanks for loving us so well that when our friends get clogged up with lies and gummed up with trouble, we won’t even think to say it’s their fault and instead, go straight for compassion. Let us hold their hand and let them know that You are the Freedom-Bringer, the gunk blaster-outer, and the One who loves us.
And also, if their breakthrough takes a long time, like water eroding rock, make us able to wait with them. Keep us from getting bored and looking for a new friend who’s going places faster. And sweet Jesus, if we want to start them on an involuntary behavior modification program, tie our hands, speak out loud, do whatever it takes to wake us up from the lie that force is what’s needed. Help us bide, holding hope like fireflies in jars, so they never forget that help is coming.
Help is HAPPENING.
Let us remind them (and ourselves) that progress is not always seeable. Sometimes we even mistake it for failure. But we will not be left to rust out and turn to dust. God has good plans. Even when the fireflies go dark, the plans are still good and worth hoping for.* And then, help us hold their hand in the dark.