“What you are thunders through so loudly, I can’t hear what you say to the contrary.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Those are such convicting words. Do my actions line up with my words? Am I truly loving and accepting of others regardless of what they believe or how they treat me? Am I reflecting Jesus to the world around me or do they seem a dim reflection because my sin and my selfishness so cloud out the light?
All questions I have to ask myself daily, even moment by moment. Obviously I am so profoundly humbled by God’s great capacity for love and grace for me. For I do fear that many times I am more concerned with myself than those around me. But if I do long for restoration in other’s lives I must face the self-sacrifice that comes with loving others well.
Recently I have been devouring the book You Lost Me by David Kinnaman. To say that it resonates with my soul is an understatement. He proposes that through their research at the Barna Group that there are some common themes of why amongst many of the young generation of Mosaics they are leaving the church. Yet within that I love how he suggests how each story is individual and nuanced. As a church we need to re-think how to come alongside someone else in discipleship and relationship and how we relate to the next generation. These are some of the same thoughts I have been burdened by over the years as I have sought to engage with younger women in their faith journeys.
So as I have read the pages and listened to the stories of heartbreak, doubt, and alienation that many have felt I want to see us bring about restoration. To bring back to the forefront this idea of relationship and journeying alongside of another. I continue to think of the amazing women God has placed in my own life and the ways they have sought to love, care, and pray with me. I am sure that I have scared so many with my failings, fears and doubts. I also am so grateful for the way I can trust that the Holy Spirit uses my humble attempts to listen to another’s story and give some insight along the way. So grateful He can take my fumbling words and translate those into something life-altering in the life of another.
I love how Kinnaman writes that a new way of thinking about relationships is “The church is a partnership of generations fulfilling God’s purposes in their time”. Oh how I long for this to happen. It convicts and challenges me to see how can I be a part of bringing this to reality in my sphere.