…by Lisa Brittain
Are you familiar with the term sandpaper people? The first time I saw the expression was in a devotional written by Mary Southerland of Girlfriends in God. 1 She has also written a book… Sandpaper People: Dealing with the Ones Who Rub You the Wrong Way . 2
You know once you become familiar with something, it seems that “thing” is everywhere all of a sudden. Reading the devotional that day, I thought, I know a lot of sandpaper people! I was actually enjoying the idea of God placing these sandpaper people in my life.
He means for me to show the love of Jesus to these rough people. That is it-God wants me to help them!! So in my head I began to identify sandpaper-ish people who desperately needed my help.
Sandpaper people can rub us the right way.
I was reading and nodding along…then suddenly that quiet voice of the Holy Spirit interrupted my self-righteous thinking about those rough people. That gentle voice simply asked, What does that make you, my child?
Oh, the revelation that so many times has brought a different perspective and insight. The question was not, “What is wrong with them that they are so sandpapery?” Rather, it was, “Why do I need so many sandpapery people in my life?”
Oh Lord, this isn’t about me helping them, is it? This is about changing me again from the inside out. I get it…I must have some hard and splintery edges. You allow sandpaper people in my life so they will “rub” off my splinters and soften my edges.
God brings us together so we can grow…together.
As sandpaper rubs off hard edges and takes away splinters, it loses its own roughness as well. Both sides…the sandpaper and what it is rubbing against…become smoother.
Amazing, how amazing you are Lord!! Your goodness never ends, nor does your love for sandpaper people and hard edged people.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3
Eyes on Jesus…you’re shining!
Lisa Brittain and her husband, Randy, live in Lilburn, Georgia, with their three puppies…Nole, Liberty, and Victor. Follow Lisa’s blogs and current events at EyesOnJesusAndShine . And check out her book, 31 Days of Gleaning with Ruth-Questioning My Way Through a Famine Season, available now on Amazon.com.
Footnotes : (1) Girlfriends in God ( www.girlfriendsingod.com) is a non-denominational ministry that crosses generational and racial boundaries to bring the Body of Christ together, using women to encourage and equip other women in their spiritual journey; (2) Mary Southerland, Sandpaper People: Dealing with the Ones Who Rub You the Wrong Way, Harvest House Publishers, 2005; (3) Ephesians 4:1-2.
Note : The original of this Note first appeared as Sandpaper and Hard Edges, the Note of Encouragement for August 3, 2009.