Last week a friend called in response to last week’s blog post HERE. We shared a giggle because I have such an intense personality. My soul resonates with visions of burning buildings and grimy, sweaty rescue workers living with a fervent sense of urgency. I want to go find the people, whereas she wants to invite. And she does. She throws open the door of her home and welcomes people to her table for encouragement and conversation.
My friend shared an account of what happened to her as she traveled during a recent storm and I have received permission to share it. It’s how the church should be:
My friend was traveling on a highway in our city. The sun was shining and the roads were dry. People were driving past each other at high speeds with nary a concern for anyone else on the road but themselves. Eyes straight ahead, each headed toward their individual destinations.
Suddenly, the skies opened up.
My friend said once the storm hit there was an immediate change in how people related to each other down on the ground. Everyone slowed down and began to pay attention to the other drivers around them. People were making eye contact, even sharing facial expressions to communicate, “Oh my goodness, can you believe this storm?” And people became kind in the storm, motioning for others to get over when a turn signal was spotted, providing cushion so everyone had room to maneuver safely.
People slowed down and began to pay attention to each other. And people became kind.
The danger of living in an affluent society in times of peace is that Christians can forget we are living in a heavenly storm EVERY DAY. We forget we are called to be SOLDIERS every day. (Ephesians 6:11-17, 2 Timothy 2:4)
And if we remembered, how we relate to each other would immediately change.
So here are some questions that may help determine if you are living as if there is a storm outside:
- Are you zipping past your brothers and sisters in Christ these days headed toward your individual destination?
- When is the last time you connected with a brother or sister in Christ in a meaningful conversation?
- When is the last time you prayed with someone?
- Can you list the cares and concerns of your brothers and sisters in Christ? Are you aware?
It’s summer. We are all busy. Schedules are crazy. But as I get in my car today to head out with my son, I am going to keep my friend’s observations in my head.
I will aim to relate to people on the ground on this sunny day as if there is a storm for souls raging in the sky.
Church, let’s work as a team. Don’t operate alone. May we all be paying attention, looking in the eyes of people we see, and being kind. Some people may then come to know Christ as their personal Savior as a result of the room we make for God to show up in our relationships with other.
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26, ESV, emphasis mine)
Whether you go knock on someone else’s door or open your own door wide…
be blessed in your quest as a first responder.
Picture Explanation: Yes, I am another year old. Saddened by that reality, actually, but thrilled that God still counts me worthy of being here to make room for Him wherever I go. Please slow down and offer up a prayer for me today, that I don’t live for here. I want people to feel seen when they are with me. I want to slow down in the storm. I want to WALK with God through each day, not run. My tendency is to rush ahead.To rush ahead means I leave God and His power behind. Never want to do that.
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