Tag Archives: love

{WATCH} Compassion Hot Sauce Challenge

My son loves the show Brain Games.  If you haven’t seen it, it is fast paced and entertaining and puts different psychology studies on display and to the test.  Pop psychology at its best and, possibly, worst.

But it is an introduction to certain concepts, and we enjoy it.

Once in a while, he asks me to sit and watch an episode with him.

This week he wanted to share a Brain Games study on compassion.  (If you are in a hurry, start at 3:50 and watch the last minute and a half.)

As I watched, I laughed and felt convicted.

And also hopeful.

I have been that person pounding on my horn.  Nothing like L.A. traffic to make you lose your cool.  And compassion.

Last week, I shared that I have also been that compassionate person at times.  And have questioned it.  Until I look over and see how deeply touched a person can be by an unexpected kindness.

This episode of Brain Games gives evidence that suggests just how touching, and contagious, compassion can be.

When confronted with negativity, your kindness can change everything, even if you aren’t involved in any way in the original problem.

I think we inherently know this, somehow, and it is so biblical, but I love seeing the science that backs it up.

And the Death-level hot sauce analogy is just so fitting, don’t you think?

How much “hell” are we willing to give another person back when they hurt us or mess with our day?

Who are we serving when we seek revenge?

Who are we serving when we choose compassion?

I’m praying that, more and more, I will be that person who chooses compassion, with or without the kindness of another person’s influence.

Compassion literally makes the world a less scary place.

It has to start somewhere.

It has to start with someone.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great… Luke 6:35

CLICK HERE  to view Brain Games Compassion Hot Sauce experiment (all green words in articles indicate links).  



Shatter the Beige

It’s a train station in Belgium, remember it?

Schedules.  Scowl lines.  Such serious faces.

Then, pouring from the speakers, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…”

Has there ever been a more beautiful voice?

Julie Andrews singing “Do Re Mi” fills the building and shatters the beige.

A balding man kicks his heels like Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins.  A little girl in a pink coat with bright yellow flowers grabs his hand.  And the room erupts in dancing.

The beige train station.  Erupts in dancing.

Onlookers are confused, uncertain, intrigued.

They pull out cameras.  They smile.  They are delighted.

God help me, I still cry like a baby every time I watch this video.

My kids ask me why.  “Why are you crying, Mom?  Don’t you like it?”

Like it?

This was the first flash mob video I ever saw.  I remember watching it over and over, weeping and thinking, “My God, we could be doing anything with our time.  Humans.  Human beings.  We could be doing anything with our time.”

I cried because all I could think as I watched was that we fight wars and scream at each other and drive  too fast to the mall like it matters, but we could be spending our time doing anything.


We could be dancing.  In yellow flowers.  Doing anything.

Shattering the beige.

In culture, we are bound in some ways to certain things.  We have to eat and wear clothes.  We need a house to live in, a place to lay our heads.  And we have to pay for these things.  I get it.

But the beige, oh God, the suffocating beige.  The loneliness.  The wondering if anyone sees.  If anyone is connected to anyone else.  Is it ever safe to really share?  Is it ever safe to be silly and laugh out loud?

To just sit on the floor for once.  To roll in the grass after a certain age.  To wear sequins in the sunlight.  To walk over and touch a stranger, just because, you can see the hurt from where you sit a few tables away.

To feel and share perfect love.

This week I have witnessed so much love.  I have gotten to be a part of so much love.

How many times have I heard the verse “it is more blessed to give than receive?”  And yet, how often I doubt.

Sometimes when I feel an urgency  to give sacrificially, I have a hesitation.  It’s not that I don’t want to give, but I am not always sure it’s going to work out.

Where will the money come from?  Will the kids eat beans and rice so I can give an extravagant gift?  How will I make the time–another day without a shower?  How will it be received?  Will it be a waste?  Will it be awkward?

Sometimes, my mind is occupied with other things, and the giving seems small and unimportant.  Acts of kindness fall to the side, not as important as the day’s to do list.

But, when I give, the rushing and stressed humanity around me slows.  Smiles.  Exhales.  Laughs.  Relaxes.  The atmosphere changes to joy, to peace.

The beige is shattered.  Light comes in.

Just like in that train station.  I think a lot of people missed their trains that day.  But, those details find a way of working out when our hearts are full.

I got to see a glimpse of perfect love this week.  Not my own, but Perfect Love, a still small voice nudging me, saying, “stop by and see this one, take this one a little gift, put this letter in the mail, throw this little party.”

I tried to cooperate, but I didn’t really know how any of it would work out or what it would mean.

Sometimes, I second-guess giving or acts of kindness.  Even up until that moment I happen to look over and see the person quietly weeping, so touched to be thought of, so touched to be worth the time and put on someone’s mind.  Remembered by Him.  Seen by Him.  Touched by Him.

And, in that moment, my own heart feels as if it could burst.  I thought I was giving to them?

And I am receiving so much.  Self pity and complaining and boredom fall away when I get to be a part of the exhilerating anything.

Thank you God that you speak to us.  Thank you God for the grace to obey. Thank you that we can spend our time doing anything.  Anything.

Help us to choose wisely.

Because, the blessing is even greater when we give.  And the love makes us bigger inside than we are without it.  We grow in love, and the love strikes down the fears a little at a time.

How can you shatter someone’s beige today–and your own?  A little gift?  A card?  A coffee?  

A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.  Prov 11:25

Remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’  Acts 20:35

Open Letter to Fear

Goodbye, Fear.

You are such a bully.

You are a tiny little bully with a big mouth.  You need to know that I am done listening to you.

You wanted me weak.

You tried to control me.  You wanted me scared and codependent.  You wanted me paralyzed by doubt and frozen by insecurity.

But, I have a new love.

I am in love with Love–real, vulnerable, courageous, sacrificial Love.  I have a new strength.  I have a life.  And, I am so over all the wasted time spent listening to your lies.

It is over between us.

When you talk to me, I’m going to out-talk you.  I’m going to tell you that you are a liar.  I’m going to tell you to shut up and get out of my head.  I am blocking your calls.  You are getting no more air time with me.

When I see you coming, I’m calling out to Love.  I’m slamming the door in your face.  I’m doing something good that scares me, just to shake you up a little.  It’s your turn to be shaken for once.

You won’t find me in the same places.

You won’t find me on the phone asking for approval.

You won’t find me trying to make people like me.

You won’t find me trying to impress everyone else, including myself, with my packed calendar and busy schedule.

That thing you do?  Perfectionism?  What a dirty trick.  It’s a trick I’m not falling for again.  You tried to shut me down and keep me quiet with a promise of perfection.  And, all this time, you’ve been running around and cheating me out of  something real.

Those nights you showed me every bad thing that could happen so that I would be “prepared?”  Ha.  The more you talked, the more I studied and planned so I could have it all covered.  And yet, you always left one thing out, and I could never get ahead of you.

But, Love has a way of covering it all, so I’m putting my trust elsewhere.  I’m done hanging with all your thuggy friends so I can get to know how they think.  Death, Violence, and Failure?  They can all go with you when you go.

And, you know where you can go.

That’s all I have to say.  For now.  But know this: if you come back around, it’s never going to happen this way again.  Because you will find something different at my door.  Love will answer.  Love punches Fear in the face, and you will fall.  Again and again.

Consider yourself warned.  And beaten.

Goodbye, Fear.

Hello, Love.


Perfect love casts out all fear.  1 Jn 4:18

What do you need to say to fear? 

What other letters do you need to write?