I want to tell you about someone I know. Her name is Hazel Chivers, she's close to 90 years old.
I've known Hazel for as long as I can remember. My mom met her at church not when my sister was really young (I think). Which means I've known Hazel literally all my life.
Hazel is sassy, and beautiful, and so full of joy. When she talks, all I can hear is love and Jesus. I know a little about her life, but I'm sure it wasn't an easy one. She was married three different times, I think. Not because she got sick of those men and traded them in for a better model. No, they all passed for various reasons. I knew her last husband. He was also a wonderful man.
I wish I could carry Hazel around in my pocket. I know, it sounds weird. She is so full of encouragement. When I talk to her, her first words are always, "How are you pretty girl? Are you still as beautiful as ever?" Or "Do you still have that beautiful hair of yours?" "Are there any men in your life? No? Well one day you'll find a man who will take care of you the way you deserve." That's usually coupled with a don't settle for less than you deserve kind of statement. She also always encourages me to continue working with people less fortunate, through my job. "I know it's hard honey, but those kids need someone to love them".
To be honest, I usually have a hard time taking in this kind of encouragement because for some reason, it always sounds forced to me. Hazel is different. She means it. From the bottom of her heart, I know she means it.
I want to be like this. When I talk to people, all I want them to hear is the love of Christ. And I can be honest with myself. I know I'm not always the best at being this way. I get upset and cranky sometimes. Everyone does. We just need to learn to deal with it better.
My fear in reaching this goal is that I'll start to sound fake. I've seen the fake. I've heard the fake. I don't want to come across that way.
My soul desires a gentle, joyful spirit. I just need to look to Christ more and more and more. I know I can get there.
The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing. - Proverbs 10:28