In Between Sleeping and Waking
|notes and illustrations by Maggie Yoingco
(b. 1989, Manila)
My guess is that when you first started getting know Jesus, you were really bothered by everyone else’s sins. In those early days of your faith, when you saw someone making a mess out of their life, you probably felt a heavy burden to call them out, highlighting the Scriptures they were neglecting and making sure they knew their behavior was wrong. I bet you saw it as your duty to call people to account who claimed to know Jesus but weren’t walking with Him all that consistently.
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one like that. The reason I know how you felt is that I felt that way too. We all did. We all start out thinking it’s our job to make sure everyone knows where they stand. We all start out thinking no one is aware of the sinfulness of their sin and that we need to tell them.
Thankfully Jesus has been at work in you and in me. The Lord lets us fall and fail enough times to find out that we don’t have what it takes to live a holy life at all. As I get older, I’m not really getting a whole lot less sinful, but I am more thankful for Jesus and I do love Him more. This is how the Lord said it would work. The forgiven folks love more. As you grow, you realize how much you still need grace, which gives you more grace and patience toward everyone else in your life who is struggling.
You find out people don’t need to be called out so much as they need tenderness and understanding. The love of Jesus makes you love everyone else as He loved you."
November 10, 1958
We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.
First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.
Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.
You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.
But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.
Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.
The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.
If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.
Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.
It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.
Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.
We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.
And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.
Don’t settle for less.
Don’t sell yourself short.
Don’t be rushed into a feeling, a decision, an opinion.
Don’t let anyone talk you down.
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