When you have 3 young children...and you are 35 weeks pregnant...and your husband is out of town for a week...and you get a 5 hour break in the day...what should you do?
Shop? Read a book? Get a pedicure?
These are the things I thought about doing during my "break". But I had made a commitment months ago. I had said I would be a friend and teacher to a sweet mom who was a refugee from Burundi (East African country surrounded by Rwanda, Congo, Tanzania).
Two weeks prior I had driven out to meet with her and she had slept in and missed our "date." Which contributed to my weak desire to make the effort to keep my commitment. But I went.
God is good.
If we offer ourselves in the smallest ways, He shows up in BIG ways.
I arrived and she was hosting friends who are refugees from Somalia. The conversation with her friends begins with questions about birth control. I offered what information I could...via the internet.
Those same friends have almost $2000 in medical bills from an emergency room visit and asked if I could help fill out a form for medical assistance.
We sat down together. I learned they have no jobs. No money. No insurance. They were only at the hospital for a few hours.
After filling out the forms, the husband asked how my friend from Burundi and I know each other. We shared how we met through her sister & my friend from church. He asked if I'm Catholic. The conversation turned spiritual...
We told him we attend Northwest Bible Church. He nodded and said, "Oh Christian...that's the same as my belief...Muslim. The Koran & the Bible are the same."
Perhaps because I had taken the time to help him with his insurance forms (meeting a physical need), he openly discussed Christianity and Islam with me.
We shared our beliefs and he began to see some differences...
- I believe Jesus is God. He believes Jesus was a prophet and could not be God.
- I believe we were separated from God due to sin and Jesus provided access to God. He believes through cleansing rituals, clothing, prayer he has access to God.
- I believe Jesus took on the sins of the world, died, rose again and ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the father. He believes Jesus is in heaven.
- I believe I can read the Bible and interpret it through power of the Holy Spirit. He believes only those in his church can interpret and understand the Koran.
Despite the differences I gain an appreciation of his reverence for God. He shared how seriously he takes the time he spends in prayer. He shared how intimately the communion is between himself and God...taking his cares and concerns, not to a friend, but to his powerful God.
I share what God had taught me this week through a passage in Psalm 4. Due to modern technology, I am able to share it to him in his heart language...Swahili (Thank you Bible app on my iPhone!).
I see in his eyes a tenderness as he hears me reading Swahili...this pregnant American mom attempting to make a connection.
On a day when I "should" have sought pampering, I begrudgingly showed up to serve. In offering my meager gifts, God blessed me.
I left that apartment with a full Spirit. I received a "soul-cure." I hadn't just attempted to meet physical needs (which of course as moms we need to do). I had met spiritual needs that I didn't even know needed filling.
Again it's the backwards economy of God...empty of yourself and be filled. Give and you will receive.
If you are feeling soul-empty, if depression weighs heavy on your heart, if exhaustion is your constant companion...perhaps its the time to go against what the "world" would say you need (comfort & convenience) and instead give. serve. minister.
I guarantee you will be the one who is blessed.
*side-note...this week I was ministered to. I accepted meals. I accepted offers to watch my children. It's hard to say "yes" to help but in doing so I realize it allows someone else to experience "soul-cure."
Linking up with: Thought Provoking Thursdays