Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Go to them

I have married friends who work in ministry with international college students in New York City. They were recently in my town, which is the husband’s hometown, sharing about their ministry and some things they said struck a chord with me.

I know God has called me to share with and serve moms – young moms who don’t have much support, adoptive moms, birth moms, women who are surprised by pregnancy and not sure what to do about it, women who want to be moms but are in seasons of infertility and waiting.

That’s different than the Muslims my friends serve in the nation’s biggest city. But some things they shared made sense in my small-town heart.

We can ask people to come (into our churches and into our homes and into our lives and into our ways of doing things), but that’s not going to be their first steps. Instead, we should be willing to go to them. We need to step into their lives and stories with no strings attached. We need to love them wherever they are.

We need to stop saying “come ...” and be willing to go. {Tweet that.}

Who “they” are to you may not be Muslims or moms. But there’s someone who needs you to go to them. Maybe your neighbor or your cousin or your child’s teacher needs a friend. There’s someone – or maybe a group of someones – who need to hear your story so they can trust you with theirs. {Tweet that.}

I was thinking about this recently when my best friend and I drove 180 miles one way to have lunch with our other dear friend who moved away last year.

We miss her in our everyday lives so we just loaded up my mini van (which only held us and our kids because one of my kids was at church camp) and drove toward our friend. Meanwhile our friend drive toward us and we met in the middle. We ate and went to the park and then our friend’s mini van broke down. So I went to pick up her kids and we improvised ... and let the kids get in the spray park in their clothes.

A lunch trip won’t change the world, but being with people dear matters. To be able to serve well, we have to invest in the relationships that keep us grounded. These friendships have sustained me and give me inspiration to pour into others. And sometimes we have to go places to make that happen.

Of course, you don’t always have to go far – maybe just to your phone or your mailbox. Maybe you can go where you always go but linger long enough to notice the others in your paths. Or perhaps you’re supposed to go somewhere new.

As Christians, we like to do Bible studies and acquire more and more knowledge, which is fine, but that can’t be all we do. We have to go do something with what – especially who – we know. We have to go and serve and love.

And then we can invite them in to our churches and into our lives and into our homes and hopefully they’ll want to come. Hopefully they will know we are Christians by our love.

152 Insights to My Soul


#ThreeWordWednesday has been full of guest posting goodness this summer, so be sure to read any posts you may have missed. 

Susan Shipe shared about summertime fun. Melody Hester offered advice for navigating new seasons. Tiffany Parry shared about the joy that comes with freedom. Alecia Simersky talked about rejoicing in the day God has made, even with the day involves hard changes. Lyli Dunbar offered lessons on surviving summer storms. Joanne Viola reminded of the importance of rest

You can also download The Summer Not-To-Do List I made for you, if you haven't already, and find some book recommendations among the books I've read {so far} this year. 

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