The email read “The summer is almost at an end and you still haven’t come over for a visit yet.” I sat there half tempted to send it to the trash bin. This neighbor woman I randomly met on a walk one day a few months back wants to connect again. It wasn’t like we really had a lot in common, plus I have four little ones and it is so difficult to have a good heart to heart when I’m being called on between potty trips, drinks, disciplining, etc.
A week later I found myself in a two story house that was painted BRIGHT ORANGE only about a quarter mile from our home, we were sipping on coffee. Her fifteen year old son was on the floor building a “bad guy” castle out of over sized legos that were clearly from his own childhood with my two oldest boys. My 20 month old daughter kept climbing in and out of the huge washing machine box turned fort in the joining living room & my 6 month old napped upstairs.
She was passionately talking about her beliefs, her 25 year arranged marriage from this religion, her five children, and how the “true” messiah Rev. Moon had just passed away the week before. I could see in my neighbor’s eyes the sorrow she felt from this great loss. She continued “If he truly was the messiah then we will know in time, but if not then I guess it was just something we chose to believe in for all of these years.” My throat swelled up and there was a knot in the pit of my stomach….for ALL these years!? These two verses came to mind.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “ …Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day…”
Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among menby which we must be saved.”
I knew that God had brought her into my life for a reason. How many stay at home Christian Mom’s who live in the middle of nowhere with the nearest store being 30 minutes away get the opportunity to minister to not only one who is lost, but one who is so entrenched in a cult who’s main leader,/god/messiah had just died?! “Oh Lord, help me!” I prayed.
I’d LOVE to tell you that I was super courageous and bold and shared the most amazing gift that anyone could receive. But truth be told, I was so scared and distracted….or maybe just scared. I have this amazing news, news that could change her life forever. The news that this perfect man/God came and took our imperfectness and sin and paid the price for us. That His atonement for our sin happened on the cross so that whoever believes on Him can HAVE eternal life!!! But it didn’t come…I felt like a failure.
I went home and stewed over my response for days. Praying and asking God “Why didn’t I just lay it out there? Was it because of my fear?” In God’s good and gracious way he reminded me of how His son Jesus evangelized when he was on this earth. Now, there were times that He just said “follow me!” and they did! But He was also relational & showed mercy to the sinners. He spent time with the sinners & just loved on the unlovable.
The Lord showed me that I need to just show her mercy, to love her as Christ loves us. It is the Holy Spirit who draws the sinner in his perfect time.
John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”
John 6:65 “And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
Well, what does that look like in my season of life? I have four kids, three under three and I just started homeschooling my oldest in kindergarten. I don’t have to time for this…do I?
Mercy: compassionate or kindly forbearance shown; an act of kindness.
Just be kind? Show compassion? I can do that. Have her over for coffee, make her a special treat, give her a call or shoot her a kind and thoughtful email. I CAN show the love of Christ even in the trenches of Motherhood and in time there will be an opportunity to proclaim my Savior & His amazing gift and plant a seed that only God can grow.
I love how Jerram Barrs put it in Learning Evangelism from Jesus:
“giving ourselves to the task of showing mercy to the needy is uncomfortable. Trying to be genuinely merciful tends to reveal the selfishness and sinfulness of our hearts. Mercy disrupts our lives; but this again is what the law is all about—an uncomfortable turning upside-down of our lives (think of the parable of the Good Samaritan). However, just as with the actions of the Good Samaritan, living a life of mercy does start to produce true beauty, and we begin, in some small way, to look like Jesus. Mercy is full of good fruits and is deeply attractive to the unbeliever around us.”
My prayer is that the Holy Spirit draws her and she sees a need for mercy & forgiveness. It is amazing when and how God chooses to work. Who can you show mercy to today and share the love of Jesus with? You might be surprised at where God works & how He works. It may not look as you would have thought, but take it and run with it. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. You never know by what means the Lord may draw one of His children to Him. YOU may be the instrument He uses. Don’t get distracted by the daily grind that you miss out on what God is doing!
Hos. 6:6 “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice”