Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tonight I had dinner with a very dear and sweet friend. I love this woman. From the first time I met her while playing volleyball this past summer at my church, I felt SUCH a connection. Without knowing more than my name and that my son was very polite and sweet, she opened her heart to me and my heart followed. While I have not spent an exorbitant amount of time with her, the love I have for her just flows so deeply. She is truly someone I will have in my life, for the rest of my life.
Anyway, that to say, we had dinner this evening, and the openness was there. We shared parts of our past with each other; from the painful to the downright hilarious. When my son and I left, the *second* she shut the door, my son told me, "I really like her. She's the bestest!"
I just smiled and completely agreed.
We got in the car and he fell asleep nearly instantly and I just felt like my heart was over-flowing with being loved on and accepted and....heard. It's been a while since I have felt like I can be completely me and not feel like I have to hold something back for fear of being judged or corrected, or feeling like I'm an alien from a distant galaxy. She listened and gave me guidance out of love. She cried with me, she laughed with me, and before we left, she prayed over my son and I.
As I was driving home, I thought, "I wonder what the Bible has to say about openness?"
Google to the rescue!! (Don't judge, I don't have a concordance)
I came up with a few scriptures:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 NIV
This one shows us that we should have an open heart to God. Rejoicing in Him, but also letting our gentleness being evident to ALL.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:15-16 NIV
With this one, it makes me think of those days where I am having a bad day. Does my light shine particularly brightly on those days? Nope. There are days I feel like an absolute wretch, HOWEVER, this takes me back to a teachable moment with my son. He was looking at something that was supposed to glow in the dark, however we were standing just outside a store window that shed light on us. He was disappointed that it didn't glow brighter, yet it still glowed noticeably.
Then it hit me: When we are shining brightly in a brightly lit place (say, at church), sure our lights are bright, but sometimes it can be overlooked because people are expecting to see that brightness there. However, when our lights aren't shining particularly bright, but we are in a dark place, the light that is shining IS noticeable! Something as simple as an honest, "Thank you Jesus!", even when you are in a bad mood around others who may not be believers can lead to just about anything!
To pull this all together, lately I have felt like I am not connecting with ANYone. I feel like everyone puts on this mask of "My life is PERFECT!", except I see the hurt and pain and fear in their eyes. I so badly just want to hold them and listen to them and, while I can't promise them that it will be okay, I WANT to comfort them, I WANT to tell them that, regardless of how they feel, God really DOES care! He is hurting WITH them!! He is scared WITH them! He is reaching out TO them and just begging them to trust Him.
No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5 NIV
I don't know where this is going, but I know God has something for me in this. Maybe I need to step forward and be more open with people I'm afraid to be open to for whatever reason. Maybe I need to slow down and allow time for someone to not just tell me a quick, "Hey, will you pray for me about something?", but instead, sit down with them on the spot, listen to their heart, and pray with them ON THE SPOT.
I have another very dear friend that does that for me. I have called her bawling for various reasons over the last four years and, though she has four children, (was formerly a stay at home mom, but now works), a husband and enough extra curricular activities to wear anyone out just thinking about them, she has dropped all of that to *listen* to me and pray for me. Can I just say that the first time she did that I was seriously taken aback? I wasn't expecting it, and I admire her for that.
I want to be that person. I pray for people on a daily basis, however the power of praying OVER someone...just...wow. There are no words. The comfort that her prayers have brought me over the years is astounding, and I now pray that I am that kind of person from today and going forward. It takes a boldness that I don't even know if I have, but I'm certainly going to step out in that direction and just trust that the words I speak will be from God and not from myself.
Good night dear friends. May God bless and keep you. <3