Wednesday, June 7, 2017
We always seem to find ourselves invited into some hard and personal spaces.
We get invited to the weddings, but also get invited to the hospital. We get invited to the baby naming parties, but also get invited to the family meetings. We hold hands in hospitals, and also at the police station with a battered wife or mother.
I always think back to the time I came on a short term missions trip. And on that trip, how I sat in the bus and stared out the window and watched people cultivating land, carrying things, and had this intense strong desire. I wanted to go into every house and get to know every family, the people, their stories.
Now looking back I now wonder if that wasn't a burning ember in my soul that the Lord was fanning into an all consuming fire. A passion to be the hands and feet of Christ.
In our greatest need the Lord didn't send more money, he didn't send a program, he sent his son. And he came for relationship. Perhaps that is the being of the hands and feet of Christ. Its the sitting silently in the mess, holding a hand. Its the silent prayers from a desperate heart in the scary moments of life. Perhaps its the dancing in the wedding, and tears of the divorce papers. Perhaps its the bible study, and the lingering women at the end with the questions.
We are all a mess.
I have found most people know their short comings. They usually know where they are falling short. And in this world, its easy to find those who will list them for you.
Not saying that sometimes…. its in the hard conversations. I remember one of a friend who loved me so much, that she sat in the uncomfortable conversation of a young girl who was so lost in her pain, and her memories, that she sat in her bathroom with a razor blade. That she had to set those boundaries, in the hard conversations. And it was in those hard conversations that forced this women, then a young girl in her hurt, who needed desperately someone to love her. But that doesn't mean we dont set the boundaries.
Its easy to get an invite to the party…..
to get an invite to the wedding……
to the baby shower, the wedding shower…..
and in the states its all too easy to get invited to the Lularose party, the essential oil party….
But the times we remember most is those who have accepted the invites, that most dont want to accept.
The invite next the hospital bed, in the long hours……
The invite for coffee and tears after the divorce papers are signed…….
The invite to the police station to hold the hand of the bruised women, the crushed spirit…..
The bible says to do unto others as we want others to do unto us. . . . .
I talk to a counselor, and sometimes I just want someone to sit. To listen.
Sometimes I dont even want someone to fix it. Understand it. Compare it.
I know sometimes friends and people wont understand. They cant understand this international life. They dont get the cultural differences. They wont get the individual hurts and aches of my heart. As I dont get the individual hurts and aches to others heart. And I totally get its in an attempt at trying to understand.
But usually its the longing to just be heard. One time I was so desperate on the mission field to be heard, that I called the American Suicide and Crisis line. When I heard the lady answer somewhere in America and says “Suicide and crisis hotline, how can I help you?”
I hesitated for a moment “I know this may sound strange. I am not suicidle. I just really need someone to listen. I am just going to unload a whole lot of junk on you. It may sound strange, as I am in a unique situation, but would you just not try to give me answers? Not try to understand it or fix it? Can you just listen to it?”
I have never claimed to have it all together. On the other hand I am keenly aware that I am a mess. I know where I fall short. I know what I need to work on.
We are all working out our salvation with fear and trembling. . . . . .
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. . . . . . .
Open the door.
Pull out the chair.
Ask and really be willing to hear.
See the one who lingers a little longer.
Accept the invite into the hard places.
Listen to hear someone, not to answer.
Show up for the hard, broken, messy times of life.
Don’t just drop off the meal, go into the mess.
Listen to hear someone, then show up in that need.
If you aren’t in the mess with people, you aren't really with people.
Because its all messy. When it comes to people its messy.
So many you see today, are so desperate for it. I can guarantee it.