I added up the meetings this week and they valued in the too many for any introvert. They happened in prayer rooms and offices, across coffee tables and over coffee, on our couch late at night and on my bed early in the morning. Listening, talking, walking.
We are in the work of long-suffering, of listening when it seems better to speak, of obeying when the odds suggest we not. We are submitting and silencing, seeking counsel from the wiser and counseling the weaker. It is a lasting joy, but a long-suffering one too. It is hard fought for, but sweet when it comes. It is not popular.
It is easy to create copycats. To say to say as I say and do as I do. To teach to follow me as I follow Christ. But I am not an Apostle or Christ and I quake to tell anyone to follow me. I cannot even trust me, please do not trust me. We ask for the Holy Spirit and we keep on asking, more and more, a helper and comforter, a keeper.
. . .
Today is the two-year anniversary of a little girl on my doorstep. She had a few suitcases, some guitars, no money, no car.
I have known her since she was 14, but really I have known her my whole life. We are different in many ways, but the same questions wrest our souls and tempt our hearts. Two years is not a very long time, but it can feel like an eternity when you are walking with someone who hates God and sometimes hates you too.
Then one day she was crafting a wooden baby Jesus for a nativity scene present and the God she’d crafted in her own image all her life became real. We joke about her blood on the lamb, but four hours in an emergency room on Christmas Eve was no joke. God became flesh and dwelt among her, in her, and through her. And she was changed.
I won’t deny I have been holding my breath for weeks, afraid to let it out. But today is the two-year anniversary of her coming to Texas and the two month anniversary of the day that everything changed for her.
God saved her. I got to watch the change, but I was powerless to save.
She is so much like me in so many ways, and so much like others in so many ways, but she is more and more like Jesus and the Spirit inside of her than anyone else.
I tell someone the other day that she is my letter, like Paul said of the Corinthians, “You are our letter, written on our hearts, known by all.” But not my letter, written by me for others, but “a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
Her disciple-making is from and by Christ alone, I merely, as my pastor says, “got to play.”
Mini-me making is a passing fancy. Disciple making is a long-suffering joy.