Looking for Self-Worth on a Wall?

Two walls stand in my home.

One wall is a reflection of who I am.

A sage-green wall covered with framed photographs of my family, frozen in time. Scattered among the living are snapshots of deceased ancestors from whence I came. They stare back at me with stern, sepia-colored faces. Next to these are plaques commending military service, certificates of appreciation, contests won.

Commonly known as an “I love Me Wall,” is it a showcase of my life? Or a subliminal need to affirm self-worth? No different than hanging children’s elementary artwork on the refrigerator.

See what I’ve done!

The other wall is a reminder of whose I am.

Where hangs unframed reproductions of two paintings: The Prodigal Son by Rembrandt, and Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet by Ford Madox Brown.

Bible passages captured on canvas ages ago with brushstrokes of oil paint. These art works were gifts, reminders of God’s love and mercy towards me.

See what GOD has done! And doing still…..

Why look for my worth in “things” represented on the “love me” wall?

When the ONE in whom I find my worth is revealed in the scripture behind these paintings.

A ragged, wretched son kneels in repentance at His father’s feet after squandering his inheritance. In his father’s welcoming arms, he receives forgiveness while the older brother watches in contempt.

 “I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son…’

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:19, 20)

Head bowed, Jesus is on his knees washing the dusty, calloused feet of Simon Peter while the apostles watch in disbelief.

“Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel…And so He came to Simon Peter who said to Him, ‘Lord, do You wash my feet?’… Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’” (John 13:5-8)

Do likewise, He challenges the apostles. “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Two walls stand in my home.

One wall focuses on me.

The other wall points to the Lord.

The only ONE who is worthy to be praised.

Scream for Help

“Get over here now!”

The young mom screamed at her two-year-old son who trailed behind as she marched into the women’s restroom.

Stopping at the entrance, the boy began to cry. The mom hollered from within, “Shut up and get in here!”

The toddler stood his ground, wailing. The mom emerged, grabbed him by the shirt collar and carried him into the bathroom.

My neck grew warm. I hurried into the bathroom, ready to intervene for the defenseless boy.

Just as I entered, the mom smacked his bottom and fussed at him, “hurry up and pee.”

Then her angry commands turned to pleas, “Stop crying!”

Heart pounding, I walked to the open stall and stood in front of them. The boy gazed up at me, whimpering, while the mom yanked up his pants; her face bent towards the floor.

“I know you’re exasperated.”

I spoke softly, hoping a gentle answer turns away wrath.

“Perhaps if you didn’t scream at him, he’d stop crying.”

She didn’t respond.

 “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Without looking up, she spoke succinctly, “I have this under control, Ma’am.”

Certain the situation was defused, I left them alone.

Minutes later, she came out of the restroom carrying the quiet child, his head on her shoulder. Was this the norm? Screaming fits between mother and child? He who screams loudest wins?

I shuddered to think how she handles conflict in the privacy of her home. I feared for the child. Even if she doesn’t beat him, no child should hear his mother’s berating tone.

But as much as her behavior repulsed me, I longed to reach out. Show her a better way.

Would she receive my words? Accept my help?

 Even now, my heart remains heavy.

Is Jesus’ heart any less grieved by what He sees?

A hand is reaching out in the sky for help Stock Photo - 11432611“MY Hand is not shortened and it is ‘stretched out still,’ longing and waiting to be allowed to bless and help and save.

Think how tenderly I respect the right of each individual soul. Never forcing upon it My Help, My Salvation.

 Perhaps in all My suffering for humanity that is the hardest, the restraint of the Divine Impatience and longing to help, until the call of the soul gives ME My right to act.

 Comfort My waiting, loving, longing Heart by claiming My Help, Guidance, and Miracle-working Power.”—God Calling

And so I pray even in this … for that mother to know the love of Christ.