I love you. Thank you for all you do. I know my God now thanks to you. Your a blessing.
Just today I read this note from someone I've been introducing Jesus to for the last six months or so. I'd have to say that up until 2010 I hadn't taken Jesus' commands to help the poor and the broken seriously. But through a supernatural chain of events, I started leading a Bible study for women in drug and alcohol recovery, and the Holy Spirit's been revealing just how messed up my priorities can be. The result is that my Wednesday morning Bible study has become the highlight of my week. I just show up, really, and offer love and dignity, pointing others to the truth and light of Scripture, and the Spirit does the rest.
Anyway, this year I watched the gospel of John split this young woman's heart open. And I watched her begin to respond to Jesus' pure offer of love, and the movement was significant. It brought deep joy to me and to many others around her. So it's no exaggeration to say I was torn, bummed, distraught, and fearful when the young woman left the facility I was ministering at without a goodbye. There are many reasons this made me want to cry and scream, but suffice it to say, loving someone in recovery holds a lot of ups and downs. Actually, loving someone--period--holds a lot of ups and downs.
But without time for even a tear, I walked into Bible study with a new set of women searching for hope and love and Jesus. Searching, period. And then two weeks later, I open this Christmas card, which apparently I had not read, and I see the inscription above from the young woman I mentioned. And my heart melts. And I remember what Jesus said in Matthew 25:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me...whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"
Of all people, Jesus understands . . . loving can be costly. But every hug, word of truth, visit, note, encouragement done in His name ushers in the Kingdom we say we're a part of. Count me in, no matter how costly. What about you? What are you willing to give relationally for the sake of God's Kingdom?