Posted by: Rex Boyles | September 18, 2007

“Are you okay?”

I was hiding. I had to. The divorce was coming, and I had to move out of the house. I was staying in a one bedroom apartment – alone in the dark. I wouldn’t answer the phone or open the door. But she kept coming by … she kept knocking. She would not leave me alone … she would not let me go. I stood at the front door – in the dark – and I could hear her crying, “Please let me come in, Rex”. So I opened the door …  

When she came in … she moved to hug me. I couldn’t. I hung my head in shame, and pulled back from her. She reached for me … put her hand on my chin and lifted my face. “Look at me … LOOK AT ME.” So I did …  

She looked into my eyes and said, “Are you okay?” 

Of course, I was not okay. Did not think that I would ever be okay; but the fact that she asked me … comforted me. “Are you okay?” That question changed me. She was not challenging me … not rebuking me … not condemning me. She was just loving me.  

From that day until this day, whenever I meet someone, who is hurting … someone, who is ashamed; I insist that they look at me and then ask, “Are you okay?”  

I learned that from Lee, good friend of my daughter Cheri, who proved herself to be a friend to this sinner, too.  

Who was that friend to you? What is his/her name? What did they say that comforted you … that changed you? Honor them here in this place. But let’s honor them more by learning from them to be friends – real friends – to sinners. 

P.S. I thank God for Lee. She loved me … she helped me … she taught me. She opened my eyes – my heart to a different way to be a friend to sinners.  

It was then that I first noticed Psalms 3:  

3 But you are a shield around me, O LORD;you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.4 To the LORD I cry aloud,and he answers me from his holy hill.(Psalms 3:3-4 NIV) 

Here is a man, who is ashamed of what he has done … afraid of what might happen to him. He is running away. When others curse him, he refuses to defend himself. He knows that he deserves all of this horror and more. But in the depths of his despair, he sings this song. In spite of his pain he praises God. In spite of his trauma he trusts God.  

God is his shield. Nothing gets through that shield – only that which is allowed by Him for His purpose and glory.  

God bestows on him glory. When all he can feel is shame … when all he can feel is despair … when all he can feel is hopelessness … God honors him. 

God lifts up his head. (This one is my favorite for obvious reasons.) As he runs, he ducks his head in shame – hides his face in fear; but God lifts his head. He wants this broken and bruised man to look into His face – for it is in His face that he will find protection from his enemies … glory to cover his shame … and love to comfort him – to change him.  

May God lift your head today … so that you can see in His face all of the acceptance … forgiveness … and comfort that your heart needs.

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