I glance at the clock. It is 2:03 a.m.
It’s too quiet in the house. I don’t hear any deep-sleep breathing beside me.
Jeff must be awake, too.
I feel him lean over his side of the bed to grab his phone. He must have been awake awhile. He is going to listen to his audiobook to put him back to sleep. It’s a mystery story, but it won’t be intriguing enough to keep him awake.
I see the light flicker on his phone. The earbuds go in. He hits play.
Is It Really Hidden?
What we do in private may seem like our own business. We think our inner life is invisible to the world. We believe we can keep sections of ourselves cut off from public viewing.
We think it’s possible to have bad thoughts and bad feelings about someone behind their back, and then good behavior to their face.
But can we really? Are we that good at fooling others? At fooling ourselves?
Can we ever fool God?
It Ripples Out
In reality, our private selves are never truly private.
Even if we don’t speak out loud every word we’re thinking, our inner thought life still makes noise in the outside word.
Who we are in private is revealed in public.
We’re not as successful at acting as we think we are. Perhaps we can masquerade some of who we are, but our most basic character eventually becomes known.
That makes it all the more important that we get it together in private.
Cultivating a healthy spiritual life is an investment worth making. For our own sakes. For our relationship with God. For our relationships with others.
Jesus lived authentically. Jesus was authentically kind, authentically good, authentically loving. He was the same on the outside as he was on the inside.
Because Jesus lived clean and whole, the ripples he sent out were clean and whole, too.
Our lives have ripples too.
Sometimes our ripples are heard more loudly and clearly than our actual voices. Even when we think no one is listening or paying attention to us, our ripples are still flowing outward, floating on and on.
I Hear You
As soon as Jeff hits play on his phone, I suddenly become fully awake!
His audiobook isn’t playing only through his earbuds like he thinks. The sound is coming out directly through his phone’s speaker.
I am hearing every word of his mystery, too.
I wait a few seconds. Still playing. A few seconds more. Still playing.
I finally nudge Jeff:
“You know I can hear that, right?”
No. He didn’t know. He thought only he could hear it. He wasn’t aware that his earbuds weren’t properly plugged in.
We laugh about it, and he apologizes. He makes the correct cord/port connection this time and all goes silent again in my world as only he can now hear his book.
May we never mistake that we’re the only ones who can hear the voices in our head.
Others may not hear our literal words, but they’ll still get the message.
- Through the way we treat others.
- Through the way we talk to others.
- Through the way we love others.
We all are listening.
- Start in Private
Outward improvement begins from the inside.
- If You Pray Well, You Live Well?
I want to believe it’s true. But if it is, why don’t we pray more often?
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