(written in 2014)
"It's what's in your heart."
My favorite Aunt Gladys quote.
Great-aunt, to be technical, and a sincere Christian.
Too few of those.
While many chose to defame my late brother who lost a war with alcoholism nearly six years ago, she chose to speak to him as Jesus would.
Another woman, who was morbidly obese, commented, "I wouldn't live with Robert either."
She was referencing his former wife, glomming on with other vapid gossips who felt superior to him because their sin wasn't as bad as his sin.
She professed to be a Christian, but I prefer Aunt Gladys' way of living out her beliefs.
My brother had given a car to the large woman's husband, and he had put food in their freezer when funds were short for them.
Aunt Gladys overlooked the failure of my brother's fleshly nature to ensure he was prepared to meet the Lord.
The other Christian woman overlooked her failure of the flesh to judge his. No mention of the contents of his heart.
His flesh failed; his physical heart failed, but his spiritual heart did not.
He did a very kind thing for someone who would later revile him.
Matthew 7:16 says, "You will know them by their fruit."
Aunt Gladys said, "It's what's in your heart."
My brother was reassured and comforted by her words. He knew what was in his heart.
There are those who refuse to see what is in theirs and don't think their fruit is rotten.
On this first birthday of Aunt Gladys' in heaven, I think of her, I love her for loving the unlovely like Jesus would.
She lived clearly and consistently and without hypocrisy according to what was in her heart--a love like Jesus'.
And my brother--he was originally scheduled to have heart surgery on July 31st, our late mother's birthday. He requested a change in date in case he died because he did not want his siblings to have that painful association should the worst happen.
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy was the ultimate end of his physical heart, but the kindness and consideration of his spiritual heart did not fail.
When people regard themselves more highly than the least of God's people, they fail. Miserably. And saddest of all, most of them are too filled with pride to see their failing, let alone acknowledge it.
Gluttony is superior to alcoholism?
Gossip is superior to alcoholism?
Such is the nature of deception.
Haughty arrogance caused the enemy of our souls to be excommunicated from heaven. What else, but deception, could cause one to think that will not be their fate when they will not consider what is really in their heart.