"When she prays, God listens." When Sue was a child, she overheard two women say these words about a third woman Sue had always admired. Sue wanted very much to be like this woman and hoped the woman would take a special liking to her. She decided to make her way into the woman's heart by asking what her favorite Bible verse was.
One Saturday, Sue rode past the woman's house on her bike and saw the woman watering her flowers. With her stomach fluttering, Sue got off her bike and cut across the yard to ask her question.
Before she could get close enough to blurt it out, the woman turned to Sue and with an angry frown shouted, "Get off the grass! Can't you see it has just been planted?"
Sue stood there frozen while something shattered in her like a crashing teacup. She suddenly realized that the woman's prayers were not as vibrant in her garden as they were in church. A poem titled Do You Have Christ in You by an unknown author portrays the contrast.
Not only in the words you say,
Not only in your deeds confessed,
But in the most unconscious way
Is Christ confessed.
Is it a beautiful smile,
A holy light upon your brow?
Oh no! I felt His presence
When you laughed, just now.
For me 'twas not the truth you taught
(To you so clear, to me so dim)
But when you came to me, you brought
A sense of Him.
And from your eyes He beckons me,
And from your lips His love is shed
Till I lose sight of you, and see
The Christ instead.
Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them" (Romans 12:9 NLT).