Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sleeve Speaking

I wear my heart on my sleeves. I always have. My mom said when  I was a small child I would walk into a room and she knew I had done something. She said my face was a reflector of everything I did or felt. My family has accused me of talking with my eyes and facial contortions. I have tried to restrict muscle movements my body wants to make but somehow that makes me even more of a spectacle.
Today I read in Genesis how Cain's feelings were evidenced on his face. After the brothers brought offerings to the Lord, Cain's was deemed unacceptable. Cain became angry and the Bible tells us his countenance fell. The Lord inquired of the fallen face and angry disposition. He reminded the young man sin was crouching at his door, desiring to rule over him. God knew the anger on the face spilled over from anger in the heart. He knew the depth of the fury was not a temporary feeling but a deep root that needed to be pulled up and cast out. Cain's Creator warned him of feelings that could destroy him if he would not surrender them.
Feelings are not unhealthy in themselves. What we do with the feelings and how we act on them can be sinful. In Cain's case, the feeling of anger overtook him. Murder sprung from the root of bitterness in his heart. How often does an emotion take over the mind and heart and will. Words are spilled -  overflowing from a bucket of bitter poison. Cynical snorts and eyebrow liftings let the "cat out of the bag" so to speak. Everyone knows what is ticking in the heart chambers. 
Cain was unable to keep his hurt and anger a secret because God knew the secrets of his heart. He knows mine - and yours too. Today I choose to pour everything out before Him in surrender. I want my sleeves to speak honor before God and others.