Hope you are well. I know many of you have been faithful to pray for my mom. Yesterday when I talked with her she said that she was feeling better, more like herself, than she has in YEARS!! So thank you for your prayers. Please keep them up.
I also have located egg-laying replacement chickens. Hopefully that sad debt will be at least partially repaid early next week. If you have no idea what I’m talking about read last week’s post.
A third development is that I have finally been enlightened about the confusing little acronym which is omnipresent on social media: SMH. The only thing I could come up with, when I would see SMH was “So Much Hell.” It didn’t seem to make much sense but I had a mental blank. I could not seem to think of a single alternative. Only God knows the number of times I’ve read some little rant followed by SMH or #smh and thought “huh, so much hell?” And I could’ve easily just googled it, but was willing to treat it as a perplexing riddle, expecting it to just come to me at some random moment. But alas I it never did. My niece texted me the explanation. It stands for “shaking my head” which seems obvious now since it is highly correlated with pharisaical condemnation.
I think I’d kind of like it if I saw it used like this. “Can’t believe I did that’ #smh” or “Blown away by this outpouring of love. #smh.” But it’s actually short hand for the exact sentiment of the Pharisee praying to not be like the tax collector.
“The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.” Luke 18:11 NIV
“Shaking my head” is 21st Century speak for “Thank God I’m not like them.” There is no love or compassion in it, even if there’s also attached some love or tolerance-based hashtag. I hope spewing hate is not condoned because a few #lovewins or #lovetrumpshate hashtags are tacked on.
But either way I have a solution: demonstrate love to the Pharisee. Actually it’s Jesus’ solution and he modeled it perfectly. When the Pharisees brought the adulterous woman to Jesus, reminding him that by law she should be stoned, Jesus sat quietly and drew in the sand. When he was pressed for a response, He said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 NIV
That day all of her accusers walked away. I’m praying that I would be gracious and kind in a world where it feels like few would. Praying that my life will reflect His light even amidst a culture dominated by head-shaking stone-throwers.
Friends, I pray, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you and I will love BIG this weekend, loving even the people who are clenching their teeth and have a stone ready.