In the Summer of 2014 the leaders of Agape Time Ministries, Inc. - City of Refuge expanded our territory by renovating the facility in which we hold our worship services, classes and meetings. After acquiring a neighboring property, we knocked down the wall that separated us and in that obtained more space to worship. This expansion would enable us to offer the atmosphere of worship, rest, and restoration to more people.
I was not working (which is another post I’ll get to soon) so I knew that I would have a lot of time to help out. I am a girl who loves to get her hands dirty, work until she sweats and breaks a nail or two. Literally, I got my nails done one day and I went to the building to work and broke it the same day -- the pain was ever so real. I am not scared to do the hard work because in my eyes that is where the true and authentic appreciation comes from. Our Senior Pastor, John Dillon (whom I call “Dad”), is a carpenter and led the entire renovation.
One of the things that Dad taught me how to do was lay tile on the floor. He taught me how to make the intricate cuts, spray the adhesive, and, most importantly, lay them straight!! I took deep pride in this task because everyone did not want to take the risk of messing up. I was one of the crazy kids of the house who was adventurous enough to care less if I knew how to do it or not. If I learned it then I would use it to my best ability. One of the rules that Dad kept reiterating and stressing to us whenever we would use the blades was: “Close the blades when you are done! They are too sharp to just sit them down!”
As we were working on the final days of the renovation, Dad asked me to replace one of the tiles that were laid wrong. I ran at his request and got on my knees to measure for the cut. I grabbed the blade, cut the tile, then I proceeded to break the fundamental rule. I sat the blade down and kept working. As I started to lay the piece of tile down, I made an error and had to pull it up. In the process, my hand slipped and where do you think it landed? Yep. Right on the blade. I sliced my finger open.
Dad and about 10 other people were spread throughout the building. I did NOT want Pastor John to know that I cut my finger due to my failure to adhere to one of his foundational instructions. I immediately grabbed my bleeding finger and ran to the kitchen. I turned the water on and as long as I kept my finger under the water it did not bleed. But, when I took it from under the water it bled so bad you could not see where the cut was. The more I tried to handle the cut by myself I only managed to make a bigger mess. I kept saying, “Dad can’t see that I messed up and did not listen. He’s going to be disappointed in me!” I laughed about it while thinking it because I felt like that one child that knew she did wrong and did not want to get a whooping.
Finally, I swallowed my pride because I could not get the bleeding under control. I thought about who was in attendance and remembered that my sister, Tiara, was a registered nurse. She would be able to tell me if I needed stitches. When she got into the kitchen, I told her that I didn’t want Dad to know what I did because I was going to get in trouble. She helped me out and determined that I did not need stitches but confirmed that it was a deep cut so I’d be sore for a while.
Eventually, I showed him my ouchy and he laughed, gave me a hug and simply said, “...Now you tell everyone why it’s so important to follow instructions.”
Although I did not get into trouble as I thought I would, it reminded me of how we can hear a lot growing up about keeping things that we are embarrassed about and don’t want to admit out loud to ourselves. However, in this hour, we must come out of the embarrassment of admitting our growing pains and “growing up experiences”.
The simple fact that I knew how to do what needed to be done caused me to climb into the lap of pride. When Dad called me over to cut the tile, the pride that I obtained caused me to overlook some of the fundamental details that provided the most safety. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov 16:18)-- that’s exactly what happened to me!!! I allowed my excitement of being called by my Dad to perform what I became “good at” overshadow the first principles and instructions of safety and turned them to a whisper.
I ask you: have you been in training to pray, fast, have good character and integrity, show love and grace, be approachable only to see each fundamental tool “miraculously” slip through the cracks when that long-awaited call comes? You were silenced because pride said, “I know this talk, I know this way, I know how to do this”. YET, you stumbled thinking what once worked would always work.
After I cut myself...I got embarrassed and I literally ran away from the ones who could help me. The cut was deep and I needed help to stop the bleeding but pride gave me many excuses to keep my mouth closed. There were people who were trained, certified, signed, sealed, and delivered to help me but because I was ashamed I talked myself out of my recovery. Have you done that too? Has pride physically kept your mouth closed and your vocal chords muted with a locked insincere heart cry?
When I finally asked for help, the nurse told me it was not as bad as I made it out to be no matter how bad it looked, no matter how bad it felt. I walked out of the kitchen with my head hanging down and Mickey Mouse band-aid on my poor little finger.
After showing my dad, He hugged me and said,
“I SAW YOU WHEN YOU DID IT...THERE WAS NO NEED TO HIDE.”
THEN he laughed, and simply said, “Now you tell everyone why it’s so important to follow instructions.”
My grandmother would sing a song that most are familiar with in situations like this:
“He was there….all the time...
He was there….all the time...
Waiting patiently in line...
My God was there….all the time”
The Lord sees us, knows where we are, and knows all about what’s in our hearts (Ps 51:3-6). I charge you to free yourself from the pride that will keep you from telling your story, faults, failures and successes to one another (James 5:15). People’s lives are healed by your words (Rev 12:11).
The “cuts” of life happen and the pain can seem hard to bear at times. I encourage you to know that there are people who are trained in caring for the cuts in every area of your life. If you avail yourself again to the Balm in Gilead (Jer 8:18-22) He will heal your heart, your emotions, your mind, and your soul.
Be Healed...Your Heavenly Father sees you and saw the cut when it occurred.
“There’s no need to hide…”