I’ve always had an issue with textures. No chunky pecans in my cookies, please. No whipped cream in my hot chocolate. And, even though I love lemons, no slimy seeds in my drink.
Somehow, the other day, a lemon seed slipped past me. I didn’t notice it until I took a sip of my water and saw it bobbing up and down near the surface. I poked my finger in but barely missed it. I must have touched the edge because it plunged toward the bottom. When it came back to the top, I tried the same thing again – and got the same disappointing result.
Of course, I thought. I needed to come at it from the side and then move underneath it so I could scoop it up.
One swift movement and it was out. Lemon seed crisis averted.
I had known better than to move in from above. It wasn’t like the seed had a way to reach out to me and grab hold. But that’s the first approach I used – and the second – and it’s one I use far too often when dealing with people.
You didn’t pick up your toys? You didn’t finish your homework? You forgot to call the electrician?
We’re fond of saying we should only look down on people when we’re helping them up but maybe we’ve got our directions all wrong. Maybe looking down on people wouldn’t even be a temptation if we were walking side by side or if we were making it a habit to humbly lower ourselves in service to others – to be close enough to listen to one another.
Perhaps the 6-year-old is overwhelmed and doesn’t know where to start cleaning the Lego-scattered floor. The 15-year-old might not have understood that math assignment, and the husband? Well, if I bother to ask, I might find that there are things besides rewiring the ceiling fan that are priorities in his life right now.
Instead of poking and prodding, I can always choose to come alongside. And from that angle, it’s much easier to lift someone higher.
A project for Lent: Since we’re still working on reading “Satisfied: Discovering Contentment in a World of Consumption,” I tried to come up with a Lenten project for this year that was simple, yet full of meaning. So, my family and I will be taking pictures wherever we see God and his work. I’ll be sharing those pictures on social media, and you are more than welcome to join us if you think it might help prepare your heart for Easter, too. We’ll be using #seeGod on Twitter and Instagram to make it easier to follow along.