Over the past few months, the Holy Spirit really convicted me about my spirit of defense. I frequently felt the need to deflect, deny, or defend, instead of trying to listen with an open heart or empathize with someone’s pain. So many times, I rolled my eyes at something on social media, only to feel a tug in my spirit: Your experiences do not negate someone else’s. So I finally sat down and spent some time in prayer.
I prayed, “Lord, give me Your eyes,” because I want to see people. To see past the harsh words and sharp edges, past the smiles and small talk, straight into their hearts.
I prayed, “Lord, give me Your ears,” because I want to hear people. To keep my defenses down while they are speaking. To stop responding in anger or frustration, and instead to simply listen. To hear what they are saying and to hear what they are not saying.
I prayed, “Lord, give me Your hands,” because I want to serve people. To learn how to care for those around me in practical ways and show compassion through tangible actions.
I prayed, “Lord, give me Your heart,” because I want to love people. To love when it is easy and to love when it is hard. Not perfect people, not certain people, but all people.
And let me tell you, the Lord answered me. I asked for His eyes, and the needs I see are overwhelming. I asked for His ears, and the cries I hear are deafening. I asked for His hands, and mine are straining under the weight of turmoil and distress. I asked for His heart, and now my own is breaking.
This world is hard. There is so much pain, and so much hurt. When open wounds are met with closed hearts, it is easy to lose faith. But as I turn to God—with opened eyes, and humbled ears, and bleeding hands, and a broken heart—I whisper, “Lord, give me Your words.” And the words He fills my soul with are these:
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.