Late last year, I bumped into a friend I had not seen for years.
We briefly chatted, and then she surprised me by suggesting we catch up. She said she loved spending time with me years ago, and would love to catch up for lunch. I was delighted, but a little surprised.
Trust me… I am nothing special.
We had lunch and chatted and spoke a little about our own personal challenges. She shared her heart and as she spoke I saw a picture of her sitting at an easel doing art. I asked her about it, explaining that I ‘saw’ her doing something like painting under a tree.
I need to state this friend may not label herself as a ‘Christian’, but she does believe in the goodness of human beings. She believes that we are responsible to others and ourselves to make good choices. She believes it is our responsibility to leave the world a better place than it was before we were in it.
She does know that I do call myself a ‘Christian’, and she accepts me, for all my flaws and inconsistencies that brings.
I go gently in my Christian talk, because I don’t want to offend her – she is my friend, and friends are kind to one another. Friends do not shove values or belief systems down each other’s throats, yet they are not threatened by a difference of opinion, or a healthy discussion. Friends can agree to disagree while honouring the difference of opinion. I find her attitude generous and gracious.
The last time we spoke was years ago, pre prophetic training. I was prophetic back then (news flash: we all are!) but I just didn’t realise I was and I had not learnt how to listen and then mention what I ‘saw’ or ‘sensed’ for people.
So I asked about the painting (with no Christian ease) and she told me she LOVED painting/drawing. I told her what had happened; she accepted what I said, and we moved on in our conversation.
I encouraged her to join an art class, buy some supplies, and recommended a few more personal things, and we went on our way. She was encouraging to me too; it’s a two-way deal people. She was not, and is not a ‘project’, she is a friend, a real live friend, and I see her because I want to, not because she needs saving…
Red hot keen Christians that carry belts with notches please read the above paragraph again…
My friend is not a ‘notch on the belt’… I like her and accept her, and I would continue to see her as a friend even if she never accepted Jesus into her heart!
People can smell belt notching a mile away!
Hence this story…
Within 24 hours I received a message saying that she had ticked off all three items we discussed, and we promised we would catch up again – she would tell me how she got on with her projects, and I would share how I was getting on with mine.
We caught up briefly before Christmas. At the time she was very thankful, and I felt embarrassed because while I was the mouthpiece and the ears (I listened to her and God), I just encouraged her to step into something she loved, into something God created her to do…
Fast forward to lockdown stage 4 in Melbourne, Australia. We can now be out for total 2 hours (with one other person if they are not from our home). I have thought of my friend a few times over the last 6 months, but about 10 days ago, I acted on the thought (I believe the prompting) and I texted her to arrange a walk.
As we walked, our discussion got deep quickly, and she asked me a little about my belief in God. She shared her views on many things, God, faith, spirituality. She chatted, I listened; I chatted, she listened…
We will catch up again this Wednesday.
Christians on social media seem to think because we cannot gather in a church building that somehow we cannot do anything effective for the Kingdom, we can’t impact people.
This is nonsense.
There are many ways to ‘stop for the one’.
Sometimes it means stopping for the one stranger on the street – as you walk past you offer to pray, or give them a word of encouragement, or just shout them a coffee.
Other times it’s the phone call that you feel you could make, or the email you could send… and you call or you send it.
Sometimes it’s the prophetic inclination you have for your boss and you share it at work, without declaring ‘thus says the Lord’… there is no need to declare a prophetic inclination in that way – just be relatable.
Other times, it’s just catching up with a friend who happens, unbeknownst to you, to need encouragement. That friend needs someone to SEE them warts and all and call out ‘you are loved my friend’. Sometimes we just need to call out the gold… regardless of whether they ever come to Christ.
It’s about being the Body (not doing the Body). It’s about being human. It’s about moving in response to His heart beat for yourself and others, and in this all will see that…
God is Good!