I had no desire to tackle this task. My wife had every desire for me to tackle it. It’s futile, were my thoughts and I said as much. My tongue couldn’t resist conveying reminders of so many times helping our friend while never seeing any lasting improvement come from the efforts. Although I knew our friend would have another crisis tomorrow, my lovely insisted we intervene again today.
I submitted my rebuttal; poor, poor choice on my part.
In an intended smirk way, she donned, “Okay, forget the need… we’ll just pray and break out the scissors. (Scissors?) We can’t very well have James’ letter in our Bibles any more now, can we?”
She of course dangled his instruction of seeing needs and rather than meeting them, offering the scapegoat phrase, “Awww, we feel so bad for you. Wish we could help. Hey, just know we are praying for you.”
We made our way to our friend’s house.
It was a dirty task. It meant wallowing under a worn-out-old-drag-my-butt-on-the-ground-compact-car, eating a mechanic’s monthly offerings of dirt and grease, and ruining a t-shirt and pair of shorts. While I worked, the inquiry from above, “Can we help in any way?” I greeted with grunts that reeked of “its bad enough I’m under here… would you please not speak to me?”
Job finished, my immediate desire was to escape to the comforts of my home where I could sulk and make the lovely feel bad for forcing this trial on me (Yes, yes, I do think I feel a sharp pain beginning to work its way into my lower back). Our friend said her thanks and asked what she could offer in return. In an antagonistic tone, I heard myself say, “You could join us for church at nine in the morning, Sunday!” Silently I answered myself, “Like that will ever happen.”
It was not the first invitation we had offered our friend to come to church with us, but it was probably the first that came with an act of angry love… and what probably sounded like a harsh demand.
Well, at least it came with my wife’s authentic love.
No, it wasn’t the first time we spoke to her of joining us. We’ve desperately tried to squeeze the gospel into conversations with this friend, only to be shoved away, sometimes rashly.
I hope I’ll not too soon forget her humbled agreement to be there with us this week for church (a cc note here… notice we said nine o’clock….). We’re praying it so, but whether she does or doesn’t, it’s more of an acknowledgement of a greater need and an interest than we’ve ever received thus far.
I also hope I’ll not too soon forget my humbled recognition of how God uses my wife to put me in a good place even when I’m selfishly kicking and screaming.
Oh ye of little faith.
When will I learn of just how little I actually know and grasp of the wind as it blows? The same Wind that reveals the very heart of God, and the lives that He is changing, both mine and prayerfully that of our friend.