Thursday, January 29

“The Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7 (NAS)

I’m a part of a group of women who meet monthly, kind of like a very laidback sorority in which everyone is welcome and there are no membership requirements. We call ourselves the Small Town Sisterhood. In my estimation the sisters are all lovely, smart and extremely “together.” Especially LuAnn. It was her turn to host this month, and to give you an idea of what she is like, she offered to cook the whole meal herself instead of delegating parts of it to others. Think Martha Stewart and you get the general gist of what it’s like to visit her home.

I had spent the previous night on a campout with my three kids out in the Ozark National Forest with a bunch of back-to-nature types. It was fun, and also a bit hilarious. When I called my children in from the woods they came running, alongside their new friends, who had names like River, Rainbow and Wren. I corrupted a few of those kids with Doritos while their mothers tried to get mine to eat things like boiled amaranth and flaxseed.

As usual, I was flying in from camping about the time the STS was gathering at LuAnn’s. When I dropped off the kids at home, and headed back out the door, Stone gave me a look that said, Surely you’re not going like that. My hair was matted and I had on a T-shirt with sweatpants that were grass-stained from hiking. No makeup, of course; I wouldn’t have dared wear it camping with the granola gang even if I wanted to.

When I arrived at LuAnn’s beautiful house, with its perfect landscaping and shimmering lights along the walk, I admit I did wonder at the wisdom of my decision. But that was only for a second before LuAnn flung open the door and pulled my stinky self in with a hug.

Isn’t that a perfect picture of Jesus’ love? To all of our pretensions, our hopes for grandeur and our failures both outward and inward, He says, “I love you. Come to Me—just as you are.”

Faith Step: He knows your heart. Why not pour it out before Him today and let Him love on you a bit?

—Gwen Ford Faulkenberry