The Lilburn Icon
…by Ruth Snell
Isn’t it amazing how the Lord works? His timing is perfect. His ways are perfect. His love and care for our lives are on-going and ever present…a treasured gift to us.
I live in a quiet, quaint town. It’s a suburb of Atlanta and just far enough away from the city to enjoy a small town appeal. John and I have lived here for 14 years and love it.
But as long as I remember there has been a conflict in my town. Two homes side by side have had a disagreement about something. The border of one home has “No Trespassing” signs facing the neighbor’s yard. Not just one sign but 5, all along the driveway separating the two yards.
Once a friend and I were out and noticed the fence between the homes being painted. The signs were down. Maybe forgiveness had taken place! A car actually turned around to take a look. The driver called the signs the “Lilburn Icon.”1 But soon the signs reappeared on the freshly painted fence.
An offense becomes a bitter root that spreads its poison.
I have no idea what happened in these neighbor’s lives. But something did…a ginormous offense so great that one was angry enough to put up the signs as a statement to the other and the town.
For years I have avoided driving by these homes. The signs were so offensive to me. The brokenness hurt my heart and grieved my spirit. But recently the Holy Spirit compelled me to drive by and pray for forgiveness and reconciliation. It seems I’m on assignment to pray for them. But God had farther reaching plans.
Recently a special verse came to mind as I passed the Lilburn Icon. Hebrews 12:152 says we must be diligently aware of what is going on around us so that no one lacks God’s graciousness and becomes a root of bitterness, spreading trouble and contaminating many.
This was true in my town! The neighbors’ offense affected many who saw those signs. An offense has a ripple effect. We may think only a few are affected, but its tentacles entangle many. The enemy desires to divide us. His plan is to steal, kill and destroy.3 So I pray for reconciliation.
To change the hearts of others, we must begin with our own.
The Holy Spirit has also asked about the “No Trespassing” signs in my own heart. It was easy applying the verse to others. Now my faithful friend Holy Spirit has mentioned an offense I have let linger. Maybe little disappointments, differences, and issues not addressed have turned into a root of bitterness. UGH.
I’m embarrassed to say this, but it’s true. My heart has had those signs up for years, and I have not taken them down. I’ve allowed a lingering offense to be there…just like the “Lilburn Icon.” Oh, Lord, thank You for loving me SO much that You are doing some house cleaning in my heart.
Today I say no to offense. I agree with You, Lord, this is sin. I turn from it and towards you. This is not Who You are. This is not who I am. I am a daughter of the King of Kings. I receive Your forgiveness and I choose to extend grace and love to this person. I choose to love and be reconciled.
Thank You for calling me up, UP, UP to live out my identity in Christ in Lilburn.
Ruth lives in Lilburn, Georgia, with John, her husband of 42 years. They have 3 children, 2 of whom are in Heaven. Their son and his family live nearby so they often get to enjoy the 3 grands. Ruth enjoys tennis, walking, and especially sharing moments when the Holy Spirit speaks in the middle of life. Follow her at Hope4journey hope4journey.wordpress.com.
1. Icon: an English word meaning a symbol or sign that represents something.
2. Read Hebrews 12:15.
3. Read John 10:10a
Banner Photo: Chuck Graham, Ancient Tree, Auckland Domain, Auckland, New Zealand