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(Reblogged from September 22, 2015)

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Welcome back to The Sandbox Writing Challenge! This week’s challenge MAY be an easy one for you, but maybe NOT! We’ve already touched on what makes us unique, but now we’d like to know what it is about you or that you do that makes you stand out from those around you? It’s hard for some of us to give ourselves the kudos we truly deserve, so here’s your chance to do just that. (And we all LOVE you, so go for it with gusto!) Don’t hold back now!
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Now tell us, please, what makes you…

shine

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A long time ago, clear back in the late 80’s, I was going through a hard time in my life. I was struggling to come to terms with the difficult relationship between me and my mom. A series of events led me to a couple whom we got to know “long distance,” and I was really sure God had put the woman in my life to help me work through some things, especially since her husband had had a similar struggle with his mom.

Over the course of the next couple years, we would write back and forth. Then the husband’s band played a concert in my home town and we flew back to Ohio to meet them. As I came to trust this sweet gal, I began sharing some of my thoughts and feelings with her. To my surprise, she would never address anything I mentioned about my relationship with mom. Her letters were chatty and certainly very kind, but I felt all alone in the equation and totally confused.

As time went on I pulled away from her. I was broken-hearted and felt rejected. I had thought I’d found a wonderful, compassionate friend, but came away from the experience feeling as if she was just doing her “minimal Christian duty…” (Yes, I am a Jesus freak. Yes, that IS sarcasm you hear. And yes, none of us are perfect. Just so you know…)

I made a decision right then and there that if anyone ever came to me needing a listening ear and whatever insight I could give them, I would NEVER respond to them the way this gal did to me. I would do what Jesus did. He came alongside of folks and gave them comfort and acceptance. Most importantly he let them know he SAW them. For most of us I think that’s the thing we want most — to be seen for who we are and still be loved. Too many of us fear if we let people see who we are beneath our masks, they won’t like us and will turn away.

If anything makes me shine, I guess it would be my willingness to “be there” for those who just need to be seen and heard. That’s why I’ve loved being a part of the Care Group Ministry at church. Sometimes you just need to be a little light shining in the life’s gloomy seasons for those who are afraid of the dark… 🙂

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Picture Source:
Shine — wildchildrecords.com
Letter — Dream Stop
Masks — www.quotemaster.org