Thursday, April 21, 2011
"Share each others burdens and in this way fulfill the Law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2)
There is a powerful scene in our upcoming book, "Tears in a Bottle: Seeing through their eyes," where Ariel is standing at her husband's graveside still devastated over his death. Esther, Ariel's Muslim friend, quietly steps up next to her and provides her a shoulder to lean on.
Everyone of us at one time or another, no matter what the situation, need a shoulder to lean on. We need someone to listen to our pains and heartaches thus allowing us the opportunity to let go of all of our sorrows. Our upcoming book is about the healing of the scars and the breaking down of the walls of discrimination. In another scene in the book, Esther listens patiently to the heartaches of Amanda, a Christian woman who lost her husband when terrorists slammed a commercial jetliner into the World Trade Center tower. This incredible scene takes place at the World Trade Center Memorial pool just adjacent to where the Islamic Multi-cultural center is being built. Once again, Esther provides a shoulder to lean on and Amanda is able to forgive Muslims and be healed from her bitterness and unforgiveness.
These examples in our book demonstrate a powerful principle: When we take the time to listen from the heart, we are sharing in the burdens of others and thus Honoring Christ. Most of our lives are so busy that we preoccupied with just pleasing ourselves and forgetting that anyone else around us even exists. Yet there is a powerful blessing in taking the time out of your busy life to listen and encourage those around you who are genuinely hurting. It is the blessing of knowing that you made a real difference in that hurting person's life. You may have not solved the problem, but because you listened and cared, they are encouraged, they can move on and now their life has been changed because you took out the time to be there for them.
Because Esther showed love and compassion to Ariel, Ariel was able to begin the healing process and move on. In Amanda's case, Amanda was confronted with her bitterness and unforgiveness and for the first time in many years, she was able to forgive Muslims and find healing for her scars.
The amazing thing about our book is the unselfishness and compassion of Esther. Esther is the unfortunate target of a lot of hatred and discrimination, including abuse from her own husband Mustafa. Yet Esther is always reaching out in love and compassion and becoming the shoulder for others to lean on. Esther's example should be our mandate.
Are you willing to become that shoulder for someone else to lean on? Take the time out today and listen and when you do, your are demonstrating the character of Christ and becoming a source of healing and hope to the many hurting people around you.