November 22, 2011

Please Don’t Judge Me

Sometimes love requires the sacrifice of your possessions, your time, or some other precious commodity. ~John MacArthur

Please don’t judge me. I’m going to confess something and ask for mercy.

I have some priorities misplaced. Suppose I’ve known for some time, but it reared its head madly on a trip to El Salvador with Compassion International.

These two joys? I love them. They invited me into their home.

Led me into their dreams of being a police officer and a doctor.

They held my hand. Extending blessings they had not in silver or gold, but in love. Selfless love. Love that longed to be shared in stories and smiles and what rare, few tangible gifts they had.

I’d come to their home to extend gifts myself; extend mercy. But they exceeded anything I had to give. This. This bracelet.

They wanted it to be mine. She nudged her brother, too shy to give it to me herself. Beaming, he presented it as if the royal crown. They leaned down from the window and gently slid it on my wrist.

I declare, diamonds can not match the worth of their hearts, this gift, that moment. Be still my heart.

I had another precious bracelet with me. Simple and wooden, gifted to me over twenty years ago by my dad. Picked out on a trip to South Africa. The next day in El Salvador, the Lord challenged me. “Can you give your bracelet away like these precious children gave theirs to you?”

Please, don’t judge me.

Paralyzed with indecision, I wrestled before I left my room. Torn. My heart soared, anxious for that moment I’d spot the little girl or mama to give it to, sharing love. My heart sank, anxious to part with my sentimental treasure.

And therein lay the problem. My misplaced treasure.

I’m embarrassed, oh… more than that. Heartbroken. I’m sick to say, I couldn’t wouldn’t give it away. Both bracelets journeyed back to the United States with me. One harkening to selflessness. One to selfishness. I thought I was really something that day, bringing mercy to these kids with beans and rice, soap and smiles. Me with my jewelry box cluttered with bracelets. I am the one lacking much; the one in need.

Need of new perspective. New treasures. New truth – I don’t want to have possessions I can’t won’t don’t love others with. New mercy. And thank God that is available.

The crazy thing is, I’ve since lost my South African bracelet my dad gave me. Isn’t that the way it is with earthly treasures? They’re meant to easily slip through our open hands and heart, huh?

Next time, next time I’m giving it all. Are you with me? {might you want to start today with a sponsorship of a CI child, like these two cuties?}

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, β€œThe LORD is my portion;  therefore I will wait for him.”  The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. ~Lam 3:22-26

Can we make this song a prayer today? Click here for lyrics to worship along~



  1. Kendra McClure says:

    Wow!!! What a beautiful message of discernment and disobedience. “I couldn’t (marked out) wouldn’t…” I have a “wouldn’t.” Lord, thank You for Your forgiveness and understanding. You loved me first. In Jesus Name, Amen.

    • Thank you Kendra. I still have many ‘wouldn’ts’ too. Wish I didn’t, but am grateful the Lord is walking me through them.

      Amen, and amen to your tender prayer. xoxo

  2. Karen Mayes {Red Letter Living} says:

    This post really spoke to me. It is amazing how God’s gentle nudgings can pierce through to our very soul. As I was reading your words I found myself defending you. Perhaps it is because I, too, have personal treasures that I have failed to share – regarding them as too precious. When will I embrace the pure joy that comes with releasing my all to my God?!?

    • Karen, you’re so sweet. I love your question! Each day I feel the Holy Spirit nudges me again with that question. Gently prying my fingers open to give more… of time, my heart/gifts, my possessions. Help us Jesus.

      p.s. hope y’all have a very Happy Thanksgiving! Give Lydia a hug for me!


  3. Danielle Jones says:

    {{I declare, diamonds can not match the worth of their hearts, this gift, that moment. Be still my heart.}}

    *sigh* Be still mine! How precious are they! And you, sweet sister. Your honesty, vulnerability… so touching. Your honesty, moving. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Thank you sweet friend! I so wish I had a video to share their joy. Precious joy in giving their jewels to a stranger. Humbled still, a year and more later.

      So grateful for your encouragement. I find the longer I write, I have to lift the veil. It’s like I can’t write on the surface anymore {well, I can, but it’s no good! πŸ™‚ } xoxoxoxo

  4. I would never judge you. I would be a hypocrite to do so. I have a few “treasures” from loved ones that I would have a hard time parting with, not because of their material value, but because of their emotional value to me. Sometimes a piece of jewelry or keepsake from a loved one can make us feel a connection with them, not in some “mystical” way, but because it honors their memory. I sometimes wear my daughter Katie”s jewelry for that very reason.
    You have such a pure heart. I am touched by the honesty in your posts. You demonstrate the redemptive love of Christ in so many ways.
    Your presence with those sweet children shows your heart….and remember, the treasure of your prayers for them is eternal. Prayers that are held in “golden bowls” (Rev. 5:8) awaiting God’s perfect timing to be answered.
    Hope your Thanksgiving is joyfilled,


    • You’re so kind, Carol. Thank you for your sweet empathy and open heart. I know just what you mean about feeling that connection. I have several things like that too and cherish them. It’s easy to see why families split apart after a loved one passes on and they have the duty to divide their goods. The heart is a powerful thing.

      Thanks for walking this journey together… this journey of living open handed. Giving the Lord our treasures. Love your thoughts… ‘prayer that are held in “golden bowls”‘… beautiful!

      xoxo and a very sweet Thanksgiving to you friend!

    • Tria Cline says:

      You are beautiful! You are kind! Your kindness to your friend is so sweet. May God bless you and keep you today and may His face shine on you! Your grace and mercy are awesome! Thank you for sharing your honest heart!

  5. Oh, what a challenging post! As a commenter on my blog said today, “I need more God and less junk.” Thanks for sharing honestly from your heart. Many blessings!

    • Wow…. more God, less junk! Love it! Can i toss in there, less tv, internet, alone time? Eek! Thank you touching base and sharing Lisa! It’s good to be in community together and hear each other’s widsom. Blessings to you and Happy Thanksgiving! xoxo Sam

  6. No judgement, I’m pretty sure we have all been there, and that is the sad part. This is definitely a challenge. Especially when there are possessions that we hold dear because of memories and people tied to them…but in all reality (heavenly reality) it doesn’t matter. My husband is ALWAYS harping on me about how we need less junk and more focus on God and simplicity in our lives. Thank you for the reminder yet again.
    What a good God we serve.

    • Marybeth, sometimes I sit on my couch {with a bird’s eye view of my whole downstairs} and pick out things I don’t ‘need.’ Oh my… it’s pretty much everything. So grateful for the grace and balance God strikes for us and His mercy as we live out Psalm 16.

      Thanks so much for popping in and sharing a tad bit of life with us! So appreciate your thoughts, friend. Hope you have a peaceful Thanksgiving and feel anew His wonderful mercy πŸ™‚ xoxo, Sam

  7. Heather Bleier says:

    Sam, I love you so much girl! You are amazing. Beautifully written and very powerful.

    <3 Heather

    • Het, I love you!! Your heart and time taken to encourage others is on my Thanksgiving “Grateful” list!! Thank you, truly. xoxo

  8. Jill Beran says:

    Wow Sam! No judgements here just a thank you for sharing your heart and encouraging mine!! Blessings to you, Jill

    • Thank you so much Jill! You’re too kind and so sweet. May the we both feel the Lord walking beside us as you open our hands and hearts for and more.

      xoxo, Sam

  9. Samantha,

    So glad I popped over here today, these are some beautiful pictures, thank you for sharing them and this lovely story. The smiles on the chldren’s faces are so precious, I think we could learn quite a bit from them, despite their circumstances and where they live they have dreams that they are holding onto I love that.

    Blessings to you Sam.

    • Hey Kandi! Great to hear from you πŸ™‚ So true… I learn from my Compassion kids so much. Love them!! Love these two in my pics too… their smiles melt my heart and open my hands even more each time I look on them. Such precious kiddos. Hope you’re well!

      xoxo, Sam

  10. Samantha: A simple “wow” says it all for me right now. This brings up so much for me! No wonder Jesus loved the children so much. Their love is pure and so giving. Sometimes working with teenagers makes me think I am so wise and “experienced.” I can “teach” them so much. Wrong! I still have so much to learn. I have so much more to let go of. So much more to give. It’s not about working hard and accumulating stuff! It’s about giving of ourselves, encouraging others, and living for Jesus.
    Thank you for sharing this beautifully meaningful post.

    • Hey there Beth… truly inspired by your words. Yes to giving ourselves. Yes to encouraging others. yes to living for Jesus. Yes yes yes! Perfectly put. thanks so much for sharing and your sweet kind words. You’ve blessed me big.

      xoxo, Sam

  11. I had a similar experience in Ethiopia. A boy who sold cheap necklaces and gum most days so he could buy something to eat- gave me a necklace. Very Humbling.
    Perfect & Simple post. It is GOOD to take a missions trip as often as you can. Keeps you grounded and helps clear the garbage from your eyes! (God does GREAT things through you and for you!) Isnt HE so amazing!!

  12. I only stumbled upon this post, what a moving article, thank you so much for sharing. We sponsor compassion children, it is a blessing indeed. One day we would like to visit them, reading this made me more convicted to do so. Funny, today at lunch my husband and I were talking, we have seen the Lord take things away we hold in improper esteem (sometimes physical things like this and other times abilities we may become to prideful of). I could not resist sharing this on my Facebook wall, such a good reminder to be aware of how we treasure things and what we think of ourselves ~ humility and child like enthusiasm are good things.

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