Wednesday, March 12, 2014

When You don't know where to start... Start with one.

She was drunk.
 I could see our breath like a mist in the cold winter’s night as we sat outside the church building. People passionately lifting up praises to the Lord echoed out of the churches open windows. My rear end was starting to move from sore to numb as the chill sank into my bones from sitting on the ground outside. She was anxiously glancing back and forth. She told me again she should not be here she was “drrrrunk”. She rolled her “R’s” as they do in the Afrikaans language. My heart went out to her.

We sat together there in the cold damp night, waiting for her to sober up or just gain the confidence to go inside the building. I was silently praying for her and she was feeling nervous about the church people’s reactions to her being drunk. I reassured her of our love for her. She repeated again that she should not be here, yet made no move to leave. 

She had followed me all the way up the winding dark streets from where she and her friends had been partying. All the while we kept chatting lightly as we walked.  She repeatedly told me that she should go back to the party, and yet we continued walking and chatting together as we headed up the hilly road towards the church. God was propelling her. I smiled as I watched her keep pace next to me.

God had placed her on my heart from the first day she arrived at the park where our mission’s team was working.  I spotted her standing towards the back of the ever growing numbers of teenagers and children who were coming out to the site. With her arms crossed, her face cynical and smug, she would stand and observe us. If you got to close, she side stepped you. If you reached out to give her a friendly pat on the arm, she made fists and darted. She smirked when we spoke and made fun of my American accent, but God nudged me and said,

”This one, love and pray especially for this one.”

It’s always amazing how God can place a love inside of us for someone we do not yet know personally. Or when He places a love in our hearts for someone who does what they can to be rude or dodge us like the plague.

 We shared some of the horror stories from our lives on that chilly evening. She allowed me to share with her how God brought love and healing into mine. We prayed together and still keep in touch. She still has an abundance of hardships to deal with in life, but I am confident of this.

God loves her. That she is beautiful and valued in God’s eyes whether or not she feels valued in her family. I pray for her protection and for God to guide her each week. I pray for healing for her heart and the strength to stand for what is true. I also pray that one day I can see her and give her a big hug again, I even long to hear her giggling as I try once again to pronounce her name correctly.

There are many of us who are in need of God’s love, forgiveness, grace and freedom, whether here in the States or halfway across the world. They are hiding behind tough exteriors, towering walls built from years of broken trust and open wounds, yet dying inside for someone who will care and be patient enough to love them out of from behind their walls.  

I have heard from quite a few people how they feel overwhelmed by the needs in our world. A friend of mine shared she did not know where to start and if she could truly make a difference. 

This brings me to this week’s challenge. Consider this phrase,

“Do for one what you wish you could do for all.”  

Friends, if you relate to this then, could you please pray and ask for the Lord to help you to see the “one” in your life? 

Couldn’t we all start there with just one person?
Ask the lord to help you to see the ways you can encourage and bless them and then do it. Don't think too long about it. Do not put it off till next week. Just do it.
Maybe it is someone in your neighborhood, a co-worker, or a person you have met where you volunteer. Perhaps God is leading you to support a child through Compassion International or World Vision. I encourage you to take the first step today and ask the Lord, “Who is your one?”

Then remember the words Bob Goff so aptly coined, 

“Love Does”. 

1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”