I’m driving along today in morning’s sun. My heart is light, my spirit’s happy and the macchiato on my right is sweet and warm. And her name comes to my mind.
Instantly, I know that prayer’s required, and so I do what I’m learning to do: I stop, pause the music, and say this, “What shall I pray for? What does she need?”
I’m thinkin’ on this one, one He’s given me. And I’m thinkin’ on her circle of best friends. How they’re gossips. So I listen; I listen to the beat of His heart, and He speaks. “She’s desperately unhappy with who she is, how she’s made. She does not know–really know–that she has a father, that I am He, and she is not convinced of My unconditional love.”
And like that, I can feel her torment. Feel the pain. Feel the deep heart-longings and the groaning. For that love…
So I pray it, “Papa. Show her your Fatherhood. Convince her of Your wild and unconditional love for her. Reveal Yourself in a way she’ll understand.” And then I’m done, for I know that I’ve prayed His heart and mind. She’s His now.
I’m turning into town, passing through streets lined with flowers. Here in our small town, the flag of our country flies free, flies proud in noonday sun. Up and down our Main Street, and my mind is way back in our past.
In the churches in which we were raised, there was much that was preached on. Many sins that were addressed, but there were some that were scarcely mentioned. For instance, we heard about pride, about the need to be selfless. We were taught not to steal, lie, or fornicate. But there some sins…a few…that were seldom mentioned.
Sins like gluttony. Or gossip. For heaven’s sake, we could be barred from communion for listening to a radio (yes, we could), but the sin of gossip? It was hidden beneath plain garb, framed as a ‘prayer request,’ and many of us gossiped and went unchallenged. Untaught. It was simply accepted.
I have learned by now that when there’s a stronghold in my life, a particular blockage that I cannot seem to overcome or to get past, there’s a reason. There is always a reason for a binding sin or a brick wall. And for the sin of gossip, I believe it is this, that you are not at all convinced that you are loved and accepted.
If you do not know for yourself that you have a Father, that you have all of His love, then you will look for something to fill that hole. And many of us have turned to gossip. In hearing the failings and weakness of another, it feels good, and it eases our pain.
For a moment. But the sin of gossip in the attempt to ease pain is like drinking salt water when you’re dying of thirst.
Thirst increases, and the only deep remedy is clear water. Living water!
For the one caught in gossip, my prayer for you is the same as it is for her, “Papa, show her (him) Your love. Convince her of Your fatherhood. Show him how truly and unconditionally he is loved. Reveal Yourself to her in a way that she will understand, and let Your love fill that hole in the heart.”
With His love in my heart and a prayer for your healing,
P.S. – If you want to know where your heart lies, look at who your closest friends are. Look at their character, at what you have in common. If you find that gossip is a common theme when you’re together, it may be time for you to find new friends. For your own health and healing and holiness, it’s time.