beautiful about sitting on the beach with waves crashing into the shore and the crackle of a fire burning brightly. As the sun descended into the horizon so the conversation deepened. This is what I have been longing, hoping and praying for as I think about these women. I want them to experience coming together and hearing each other’s stories and realize they are not alone. That God is writing his larger story and that they have a part in it. Through heartbreak, setbacks, triumphs and just life they are experiencing the journey of walking with God and each other.
I also needed this reminder last night. I couldn’t have felt more loved by each of them. It was as if a collective sigh of relief was felt as we closed in prayer. That the burdens that were deep within each heart for a moment were lifted and given over to the waiting hands of our loving Father. I know we can experience these moments no matter our surroundings but I have to say looking into the fire and feeling its warmth there was a sense that we were delighting in something special, something restorative.
“We must go out and then let church reemerge as a reflection and the natural outgrowth of our missional way of life.” p.38 Tangible Kingdom What does this mean? Of course that is why I am reading the book and hopefully will discover more soon. But one concept has been on my mind for the past few weeks.
How do you really engage with others around you that are vastly different from you in terms of values? What does it look like to move towards others relationally when you disagree with their choices and behavior? Jesus was considered a friend of sinners and they were drawn to him. They wanted to spend time with him and liked being in his presence. How many of us have friends in our lives that are far from Jesus but are drawn towards him through us?
I know that as I have sought to step out in faith and be this in my community I am finding that it is incredibly challenging. So many times I want to throw my hands up and give up. To not have to face times of feeling isolated or alone or conflicted in my emotions or how to handle certain situations. Life is not so black and white and that is a challenge. It brings me to my knees knowing that I don’t have the answers and that I fail others miserably. All I can trust in is that I am deeply loved and growing and learning to lean more closely on the Lord. Hopefully as I seek to rely on Jesus, He will be reflected to those around me.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how you stay engaged with others around you that may be difficult to love or even difficult to watch their life choices. Oh but I am so thankful for the grace because thankfully Jesus doesn’t back away from me when I don’t choose him.