Both women went to church without their husbands but with their three kids.
That’s where their similarities end.
Sarah came in late with three boys under the age of ten in toe.
Claire left early with her two preteens and one grade schooler.
They both were hurrying off to the next event immediately after the service.
But they could not have been more different in the way they approached life. Or at least that Sunday morning.
Sarah was calm and collected. She noticed I was an outsider and thanked me for being there.
Claire was rushed, cranky, and short with her (not fighting) children.
Claire sucked energy from me. I felt like a bother. And she never met my eye.
Sarah radiated God’s love. She made me feel like the most important person in the world.
I want to be a Sarah to the world. I want the joy of the Lord to shine in and through me. I want to energize people in conversation.
That’s not going to start when I’ve got three little humans following me around calling me “Mom.” It’s not going to start when my life-situation changes. It’s not going to start when the plane’s wheels touch down in a Spanish-speaking country.
I want to be a Sarah to the world. And I want to be a Sarah now.
Even if I’m running on too few hours of sleep. Even if I’m stressed about funding for my trip. Even if the credit card reader’s not working and I’ve got a line of people trying to make purchases.
Give energy. Don’t take it.
I don’t know Sarah and Claire. I only saw them at one church service.
Maybe Claire was having a bad day. Maybe her car broke down yesterday and she can’t afford to fix it. Maybe her children are acting like they get along but once they get back in the broken car they punch each other.
Maybe Sarah’s having an excellent day. She woke up well-rested with coffee delivered to her bedside, the kids got ready in record time, and someone filled up her gas tank as a surprise.
I really don’t know. And I’m not making any long-term judgments on either of these fictitiously-named women.
After all, no one can be pleasant all of the time.
We can, however, make an intentional effort to live what we say we believe: this is a day the Lord has made that means His mercies are new this morning too.
And sometimes those mercies need to include forgiveness for unnecessary crankiness.
Who are you going to be today?
What are you looking for?