Friendship

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There, in a chair with wheels, sat my answered prayer. A heartfelt cry to know Jesus more, to love supernaturally, and to be unafraid and undaunted.

I’ve walked foreign streets that praised evils, and imprisoned innocents. I’ve played pool with prostitutes and hokey-pokey’d with rescued children, but the simple life of mission in my day to day had scared me silent. I walk past many opportunities to interact with “the least of these” regularly. I excuse myself because I’m busy or not equipped, or I feel these people did this to themselves, or “what if they buy drugs with the money I give?”, or because I’m female, or because there must be a better solution…

I don’t know anymore.

Why is it that I am so easily intimidated? My heart is heavy with the desire to make change, yet the doubt that I can. My childhood of attempts to rescue an ill mother left me with sore shoulders, for there I carried the burden of her trauma. I lived to save that which was never mine to save. And as hard as I would try, I saw no change. Defeated.

So then why try?

Ha! As if it were that easy to not love. As if the Spirit doesn’t live in me. As if I haven’t the hope of the world. A genuine faith cannot be so easily contained.

So I tried. On Friday night.

Anxiously I met with some new friends to pray for people in the streets. Inspired, I put one foot in front of the other. Panicked, I did so slowly. God had clearly gifted these people to do this sort of thing, but me? One of my friends pulled me aside and suggested we pray for the man in the wheelchair. With 1/4th of a mustard seed, I said yes.

My instinct: common ground. I got on my knees and prayed with this tearful and laden man. It was as if I tested the weight he carried, and it was unbearably heavy. There was no end in sight. Restless wandering. I think the enemy steals dreams and calls it “survival mode”. My prayer sounded desperate because it was. I was crying out because that was my only response. I felt helpless, faithless, as I walked away. It was as if I put the weight back down onto him.

“God, I wish I could do more.”

A while later, we bumped into him again. He humbly and gently asked for food. And my heart leapt. Was God answering my prayer? The opportunity to do more? So we grabbed some pizza and shared a meal together. We were able to meet a physical, spiritual and relational need. This man was no longer “the least of these”, he was image-bearer. We were equals, we were friends. His tender heart amazed me. His love for his daughter inspired me. I walked away from him truly, unbelievably blessed. I pray we see each other again soon, for in our exchange, I got to see the heart of God.

Now, I find myself thinking on the friendship of God. You know the song:

“What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
And what a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer”

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”- John 15:13

It is never my burden to save anyone, but it is a privilege to love the world. As a friend of Jesus, I have received great kindness, true sacrificial love. What pleasure it brings me to offer that to others, and to introduce them to a better friend than I. A faithful friend who can bear all burdens, and still find joy in sharing a meal with us.

If this is your prayer, to love like Jesus loves, to make a difference, to be a friend to people that aren’t like you, don’t be surprised if He makes you uncomfortable to answer it. Lean into it. He reveals His heart for you just as much as He allows you to impact others.

I don’t share this to brag or to spotlight myself. This is not my natural gifting, this was and is the Lord at work in my life, preparing me for mission. This is the faithfulness of God, answering prayers of a lifetime. This is the might of God, awakening His people in this generation. This is what He will do and is doing in our midst. And with just a teeny bit of obedience and courage, God allowed me to join His work. This seemingly small victory, is only a foreshadowing. Just wait, the best is yet to come.

-Laurinhunter

Source: http://laurinhunterblog.wordpress.com

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