making room

she spat out some bitterness and took a seat in the throne of self-pity she made for herself. how small the throne made her look. so very, very small that truly all i saw was the throne, and no longer did i see her.

and the bitterness mixed with self-pity fell heavy on my ears. mostly because i knew that kind of bitterness so well, and i myself am queen of all those who sift through self-pity. oh, i have spent wasted year upon wasted year holding onto bitterness and the regrets of what i could have spent time on pile up like dirty laundry. and when your heart's root is bitterness it is only natural that the blossom be of self-pity. and a blossom of self-pity is the antitheses of lovely, is it not? because self-pity is defined by the first word in that twisted little compound: self. one lost in self-pity cannot focus on anyone else, anything else. soon the birthday dinner for a friend somehow comes back to how no one told me i looked nice. and the coffee date with a hurting sister comes back to "why didn't she ask me how i was?" and the opportunity to serve becomes a duty only done because your head is thinking, "well this person better pay me back for doing this." and a look in the mirror by one consumed by the pity for self reveals a reflection of only the pity. she looks out the window and all she sees is self. she looks in the eyes of a loved one and all she sees is self. it is the horrible habit of destruction to pity one's self, wasting away a good and perfect gift called living.

and as these words of bitterness and self-pity fell on my ears and they tried to shimmy and shake into my heart suddenly, like a glorious bright and shining gate of protection, the holy spirit seemed to speak, "there is no room for you two here."

no room for hatred toward a person who was so hard to love, because when you take someone who drives at every nerve in your body that's when you know you must pray. pray for them and for your reactions and for love toward that beating, broken soul of theirs.

no room for nasty words against people, whether they be believers or not. for if the former, you are slandering family. if the latter, you are slandering someone destined to hell and wouldn't their hearing of your words make them not want your jesus even more?

no room for resentment against someone because oh, how i know this rots at the soul until all you have and hear and speak and give is resentment. it creeps into every party, every coffee date, every conversation, every church service.

because when bitterness and self-pity move in they take up a lot of room. you let them into your heart and suddenly you have to start pushing other things and people out. but the beautiful thing about letting in what is good, what is holy, is this: you will always have room for more. more room for another person who needs someone to cry with. more room for that dear sister who needs someone fighting for her through prayer. more room for denying the fleshy bits of laziness and apathy so that you can serve the poor and needy.

more room. that is what you have when you let the holy spirit rule.

(p.s. lovely picture taken by my super hot and awesome and sassy little sister)