In my mind I had drawn a one dimensional continuum. At the left end was the ability to minister and witness to others about the love of Christ. At the right end was the opportunity to live amongst believers. The only thing I know for sure is that I personally am the least deserving yet most receiving of God’s grace. Otherwise stated, “Since God loves even me; let me tell you how He loves you!” Thus, despite the wisdom of Romans 12:5 “in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” at the left side of my continuum I chose to reside.
I ignored the exhaustion I regularly felt from battling too much pop culture in our lives and not enough pouring in of Godly boundaries or wisdom. Thankfully God gave me a husband that thinks at least two dimensionally. His graph “plotted” the direct correlation between me complaining about my husband and the time I spent with his mother who incessantly complains about my father in law. Eventually, I began to notice how “venting” my emotions with certain people would ignite not diffuse consternation.
I shifted my one continuum image away from the zero-sum concept that being with fellow Christians was taking from others. My new picture is illustrated by Psalm 40. Christian friends would help me to set my feet more firmly on God’s rock allowing me to sing! SING! Sing a song that would invite others into the kingdom.
Recently I was feeling particularly unloved and hurt by my husband. He was under stress from his own work and unable to provide the nurturing I sought. (Please restrain yourself from moving into accountability by referring to my complaining above and just go with the example).
I confided in a dear Christian friend. We have only known each other for months not years yet she was able to plug the hole in my leaky bucket and fill me with God’s healing love in a matter of minutes (remember there are 59 of those before I have to start counting it as hours).
So what does a “Christian” friend provide?
Certainly there is the confidence that what I share is “safe” or kept with her. Further, she does not “egg on” or exacerbate the issue. Rather she provides perspective to it. Often she backs up her reasoning with biblical principles and sometimes even quotes scriptures. But that is not the full draw. Goodness, I have biblegateway.com for that. What is most important is that she is another mouth for our Lord. When she said, “people all around the world love you” it warmed me to the core. Let’s not dwell on the accuracy of her statement. Who does she even know in Pakistan or Argentina? That is not the point. I felt better instantly. I know she prays for me and I have often witnessed God speaking through her. Perhaps that is why when her words reached me through the cell phone it was not a point in a conversation or part of some outline. It was an embrace. It was our Lord (who knows plenty of people in Pakistan and Argentina by the way) again wrapping His dear tender arms around me and again promising that no matter what the void, He is here to fill it.
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