Spiritual Practice


Chris Allen

First period was almost over. We had changed out of our P. E. uniforms and into our school clothes, and we were waiting for the bell to ring. I was standing a short distance from a group of guys when an intimidating upperclassman looked over at me and began to taunt me with a “yo mama” joke. I do not remember the student’s name or even the words he spoke; but upon hearing the words, I began to cry.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Philippians 4:5 (NIV)

What most of my classmates did not know was that my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was beginning treatment. My tears only added to my troubles; I was already an overweight, awkward freshman, ripe for teasing. However, one person in the crowd that day knew about my mom’s condition. He realized why I was crying and decided to step in. He pulled me aside, let me cry on his shoulder, and walked with me to my next class, reassuring me along the way. In a cruel, cold world, he showed me a glimpse of God’s grace.


BE THE IMAGE: In a world full of pain, disappointment, and illness, how can you be the image of God for other people?


—from devozine (January/February 2013). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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