Throwing Out the Mirrors: Chapter 5

“If there are absolutely any resources I can provide that will ease your burden, untangle your confusion, or solidify your trust in the God who built you and love you, then I hope you’ll let me provide it” (p. 99).

How do we get to a place like that?  In this chapter I was struck by the complete reversal of focus.  If you are anything like me, each day really is centered on my own needs and desires.  I make sure I get enough sleep (for the most part).  I make sure that I eat breakfast.  I make sure my clothes are presentable for work.  I try to get to work as fast as I can.  I drive in a way that ensures my own safety and efficiency more than other peoples.  I schedule my day to ensure I accomplish the work that I want to accomplish.  I head home and I make sure I have dinner.  I make sure I have time to relax doing watching the TV show I want to watch.  In a way, I am already a great Resource Provider—for myself.  How about you?  Who are you a great Resource Provider for?

But this chapter changes the focus; it changes the direction of my attention and resources from myself towards other people.  Now, this does not mean we do not provide for ourselves—because God does call us to take care of ourselves on so many levels, whether physical, spiritual, or emotional.  But that should be the primary focus during the day; the primary focus should be other people.  What do they need?  It begins with a simple question: What do the people around me need today?  I liken it to the difference between a mirror and a window.  When you look into a mirror, what do you see?  You see yourself…and maybe other people in the background.  However, when you look into a window, what do you see?  You see other people…and maybe yourself as a faint reflection.  Do you spend most of your time looking into the mirror or looking through the window?

Once we begin to look through the window, we can begin to see the needs of other people.  We can see the neighbor who is a single-mom and could probably use a night off from cooking once a week.  We can see the friend overwhelmed with grief who could use an invitation to Starbucks for a coffee.  We can the new family who just moved in who could use a way to get plugged into the neighborhood—and maybe a local church.  The options are endless.  If there is one thing that will not change over time it’s this: our friends, neighbors, and strangers will always have needs that we can help meet.  The one thing that can change is how we will respond to them.

As we make ourselves available to the Holy Spirit’s promptings, we will begin to respond in effective ways.  We will begin to look through the window, recognize the needs, and act on those needs.  We will begin to develop the ‘Be With’ factor, and we will begin ‘Just Showing Up.’  Over time, who knows where it will go…maybe it will lead to a conversation about Christ…maybe it’ll lead to a softening of their heart for someone else to talk to them about Christ…who knows what the Holy Spirit may be doing.

Whatever He is up to, He is looking for our help.  Are you ready to throw out your mirror and look through the window instead?

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