I focused on him, sitting there across from me. I glared and seethed because of what he had said. “I don’t like you.” The thought kept ringing through my mind. He had hurt me. He had made me mad. He had not even bothered to apologize for his unacceptable behavior.
He sat there, unaware of the thoughts in my head that so desperately wanted to spill out of my mouth. He deserved every word that I would throw at him. Maybe then he would finally understand.
“Love.” One more word floated through my mind – like one of those soft, see-through clouds on the crystal blue spring afternoon. It caught my attention and I watched it for a moment and the rest of the words were forgotten.
Something about that word brought a smile to my face. I had a quick flash of pop movie from the early nineties. I caught a glimpse of my sons laughing together. The venom began to lessen in my veins and peace soon took its place.
One thought stirred my anger and drove me to do things or say things that would hurt.
One word stirred my heart and my joy and poured out peace and contentment.
It never takes as much as we think it does. One word, one thought, one action can turn everything around in an instant. It may not turn around others, but it will turn around my heart and my mind and that changes my world no matter what others do or choose not to do.
I looked back at that man – the one that I had wanted to crush with my words only moments before and I saw the hurt that was crushing him. It did not excuse his behavior towards me. It did not fix what he had done. But seeing the despair and the discouragement covering him helped me to better understand and to change my focus.
“Lord, let him encounter you in such a way – create for him a Damascus moment – that will knock the scales of discouragement and despair from him so that he can begin living out Your life in peace and contentment.”
My focus changed my world – yours will to.