I recently spent time stripping paint off our sun-porch windows. I quickly noticed that paint caught fire frequently on one window, unlike others I had been working on. I adjusted the fan and temperature on the heat gun and found a setting that produced no flames. As I worked, it occurred to me that this window was exposed to the most sun, and is the window most opened – the window with the hardest use.
God taught me this in those quiet working moments… That paint is like folks that we encounter every day. Folks whose lives have been difficult, stressful, painful, and even folks who feel “over-used” in their daily living.
So how do we react when these people enter our lives? What do we do to love them into God’s presence, healing, mercy and grace? How do we help reduce the pressure, the stress, and stand beside them in times of trouble?
“Turning up the heat” with advice or directives may only produce flames. But a listening ear, a conversation to gain compassion for their situation and a better understanding of a fellow child of God – just might lead to an eternal bond where we show them a Savior willing to “take the heat”.