First, I have made a friend that I have been walking with every morning. It his HOT HOT HOT outside - in the mid-90s even at 9 am - but every day this past week we walked around our block 3-4 times. This has been a tremendous blessing. While we have different spiritual backgrounds, God has used these morning walks to bring up conversations that are sharpening me.
Second, Kendra met her friend Allen, and because of that I met his mom, Sherri. She came over the other night and we had coffee and talked until midnight - never realizing the passing of time. She loves the Lord so much and it shows in every aspect of her life. Kendra and I went to a small group Bible study with them, and it was awesome. When we got home, Kendra made a list of prayers that were answered in the coming together of our newfound friendships - my prayers for a friend, Sherri's prayers for a friend that loves the Lord, Kendra's prayers for me to make a friend, Kendra's prayers to make a godly friend, the prayers of a lady we met named Joyce who had been praying for God to send a friend to Sherri, and I added that it was likely Allen's prayers to meet a girl who loved the Lord. It has all culminated in this amazing way that only God could do. You meet people and generally it takes time to get to know them, but it has felt all along the way like we've always known each other.
Then, the Bible study last night was like a big, deep drink of water for a thirsty person. I was starting to wonder if there were people here who would set aside their televisions for a night that they weren't "supposed" to have church, to have fellowship and communion with one another. It was pretty wonderful. Cleve Sharp was the man who led the group. There was no doubt the Lord's Spirit was on him. He shared a vision God gave him of some things that He was going to do this year among his people. So much of what he said were things that we have been sensing as well, and watching come to pass. One thing in particular was that we were moving from the church as it is structured now, into homes - for more koinonia - true fellowship among the body of believers. A mutual sharing of faith life, versus a political system where there is a power structure, and monologue where there should be dialogue.
Here are some of the other things he said that touched me so - that I was in tears even before he could finish a sentence - because I knew where he was going:
- I sense there will be a death of some things that have been dear. These have been places of great expectation. These were seeds that have been nurtured and at one time brought much hope. Many of these things were God’s will for the season but now it is the end of it. For a time it is ok to mourn. Then put it away from you …. Don’t allow the trauma of the transition to hold sway over you.
- There are some things that seemed lost to us … that will absolutely be recovered. The joy of these things will be as an old and dear friend. Some of these recovered things will be sweeter than we ever remembered.
- Some of the clearest words of life and direction will come from the smallest mouths. So, listen up.