“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15)
This year my husband accepted his first coaching job in professional baseball. I’ve worked in baseball for 7 years so I knew that “groupies” existed, but I never really thought the coaches would get their attention. To our surprise, there was, in my husband’s words “some interest from outside parties.”
My painfully honest husband told me as soon as he found out, and to be completely vulnerable, I was furious. “His wedding ring is tattooed on his finger!” “So many of them are single! WHY HIM?” For a few minutes I stood in the bathroom feeling anger boiling up inside me until I realized what was happening and literally got down on my knees.
Eventually, with my forehead pressed to the bathroom rug, I asked for wisdom. Wisdom to know how to respond, if at all. But more importantly, I asked for grace. Initially, I was asking for God to help me extend grace to the (most likely unknowing) woman but before long, I realized I was the one who was deeply in need of grace and forgiveness. I had jumped to judgements, thought only of myself and how this affected me, and condemned others for being involved. I immediately judged this woman rather than relating to where she was. I didn’t think back to how helpless and lonely I felt before I knew Christ. When I saw an organization full of darkness, I began to hate the industry rather than reaching out to the people lost within it.
While this was our first encounter with this sort of situation, I’m certain it won’t be our last. I also know it’s a fairly common occurrence, so here are some reminders for myself (and others) to respond in a more Christ-like manner going forward:
1. Remember that Christ died, not just for the sins of those around you but for YOUR sins. The only person in this world who had the right to be prideful spent His entire life humbling himself to help others and eventually died the most painful, humiliating death for YOU. You are just as in need of grace and forgiveness as the next person.
2. Control the “controllables.” You have no control over the women at the ballpark but you already chose a trustworthy man, so rest in that. You have no control over what the people around you say but you DO have control over your reactions.
3. PERSIST in love. I thought that showing Christ to people at the ballpark looked like smiling at everyone and remembering people’s names. That’s great, but that’s easy. We cannot limit ourselves to showing Christ’s love to others only when we’re in a good mood or when it’s convenient for us. Christ’s love is CONSISTENT.
“That’s the only purpose grand enough for human life. Not just to love, but to
persist in love.” (Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees)
Prayer: God, humble me daily and remind me of my own sins and imperfections so that I am able to take the grace, love, and forgiveness that you constantly give me and extend that to others. Give me the opportunity and courage to go into dark places where it is difficult love so that I can shine your light and help lead people to you, the only never-changing source of love.
Suggested Reading: Mark 6:31-34, Job 36:5, 1 John 4:9-12, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:13
Caitlin VerColen Rook