I met up with an old friend recently. We knew each other a lifetime ago for both of us. We got to talking. The talked stretched into another hour until my children's school schedule pushed me out the door.
During the conversation I kept having the feeling that I haven't known this woman for 15 years and yet she was so familiar to me. As if I could have counted her among my good friends in after another hour of conversation.
Later on I received a message from her. She said she felt this same way, but what she also did is bless my calling. She said that I am the type of person that God's ministry needs. I sat there in the glow of that statement for an hour after I read the words. I still haven't had the courage to respond to such a blessing. How do you respond to a person when you feel like God is the one speaking through them? A very humble quiet thank you, will that suffice?
I have been thinking a lot about my calling recently. I can define it specifically but as I job search I find myself wanting more and more to begin living out that calling now. Because "the job of a preacher is to find some kind of good news for people. And that good news really should be about who God is and how God works and what God has done and what God will do. (What passes for preaching in many cases is more here's the problem, and here's what you can do about it,which I myself have never once heard as being 'good news.')" - Nadia Pastrix I don't want to solve people's problems right now. I don't want to offer community action plans. I want to show people God. I have good news. I have experienced good news, in my life. Right now, today, in my past and in my present. And there is more, for you and for me, for our families and the strangers on the street.
I feel like I have so much to say about this right now. This is God, he is not who you think he is. This is what God does, not this terrible judgemental condemning stuff, he leaves that to us, we humans do plenty of condemning all on our own. He doesn't need to add to it. What this boils down to is Hope and Heart and a Word. I have it, and I want to give it to others. Hope is not something to hoard, it is a gift to be shared. God's words aren't something to be hoarded either. I keep receiving blessing after blessing. How can I not give that to other people?
Another friend texts me from across the country, giving me an opportunity to speak God into her life. I give her a verse. It bolsters her spirit and what does she do? She returns the favor and speaks a verse into my life, into my heart "Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty." Phil 4:14
Blessing after blessing. And yet my stubbornness doesn't wane. A week ago, God pushed on my spirit. Tell this person that I love them. I stood God down for an hour on telling someone that God loves them?! Why on earth would I do that? When I relented I caveated God's words with a disclaimer and said "It might seem weird to you for me to say this now, but God loves you." Tears spilled for them and also for me as I think about my haughtiness not to speak that blessing to someone else. Because repentance is still necessary for me. False humility disguised as pride masquerades in my life. Co-dependence can plague the best of us, in the need to predict the other person's response before speaking.
We all have a calling, we all have a hope or word or heart to offer the world. I pray you and I both find the place to offer them and don't hesitate before the altar to give them willingly.