Standing…Encouraging Others

It’s right there, splashed on the Word’s first pages.  Blood dripping from the brother’s hands, jealous his fruit offering didn’t compare to meat.


He wanted God to love him best, choose him above the other one.


Handful of generations walked, ten brothers struggling with the little one.  Cherished by the father, wrapped in a coat painted with myriad colors.  Disappointment turning to anger exploding into hatred, the brothers plotting to kill.


Caravan of travelers leading away the trouble maker, the brothers yearning for the father’s acceptance, strong embrace.


God descending to the mountain, His finger changing rock into life changing words.  Pressing deep into stone, writing ten laws, commandments standing guard around His people.

The Almighty One, knowing the hearts He created, finishing His laws with barricades around the life spring.


Don’t allow your heart to want what I have given to another.  Don’t travel down discontented roads, gazing into surrounding fields.  Keep your heart in your home, filled with treasures I loving place in your hands.

The Chosen One journeying on dusty paths with twelve followers, men fighting about sitting right beside Him, prominence glorified.


Jesus gently explaining heaven’s secret, those demanding nothing receive crowns, servants find honored seats, praises to the Lamb echo continually.


Disciple peacefully receiving stones, looking up to heaven.  The Lamb standing, right beside the Father.  Jesus standing, watching, encouraging His child dying with rocks raining like hail.


Jesus stood for another.  The Savior, the King of kings, humbling Himself to stand, recognizing the sacrifice, gifts of a mere man.


Many days I wrestle with the sin clawing in my heart.  The law exposes the awful truth, I desire to be the best.  Others can bring gifts, experience love, find a seat, exude beauty, only if I am the first.


It’s easy to encourage from above, reaching down, pulling up.


When weeds run in surrounding fields, I walk leisurely past with hardly a glance.  It’s when the fruit grows taller, richer, fuller that I struggle to run home.  Looking between gaps in whitened slats my eyes strain, making instinctive comparisons, searching for imperfection.


Others gaze on the flowering field, showering praises.  Pristine beauty.  Exquisite words blowing in soft breezes.  Music rising upwards.


Calling from trenches of self-pity, enumerating my experiences, attributes, hoping for eyes turning to me.


The One who stood, stands whispering my name, reminding me of His gifts, selected only for me.  Reiterating His consuming love for His child.


His strong hand reaching, hoping I will place my small, weak hand in His.  Asking me to stand with Him.  Inviting me to see with His eyes, deep inside.


Holding His hand, quiet in His love, our eyes capturing His creation.


The Broken One reveals His purposes, His plans, praise for the Holy One not the gift laden.  Gifts never pointing to the receiver, the Giver is honored.


Eyes opening to sinful desires, ungratefulness.  Confessing blackened heart filled with wants.  Praying for Him to press mud formed by His hands onto my eyes, making the blind see.


Looking at the Giver, eyes focusing on Him, not on those wearing the gifts.  Flowering fields clothed by the King.


Standing together, the Giver and I, encouraging the receivers.  Calling out their names in love.  Holding signs along the narrow path.


I am standing.


Photography copyright © by Jane Carole Stein


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