When I was a teenager a woman at our small church befriended me. She would ask me to accompany her on her often trips to Port Huron. In the car we would talk. She would ask me about what was happening in my life and advise me on how to handle things that came up. She did it in such a way that I thought my decisions were mine alone. She had no children and seemed to enjoy our time together. I learned a lot on these rides namely self- respect and to value myself. She helped me a lot during a very difficult time. My Mother and I disagreed on many things and these rides and council were very helpful in dealing with that. What brought this to mind was a note that I found in a drawer I was cleaning out. The note was from some years ago. There was a young girl in our church who was going through a difficult time. Her parents were divorcing, and she was trying to deal with that and was acting out a little. She always stood off from the crowd. She would come to church with her hair dyed in streaks and a different color weekly. I began to stop her to talk with her about her hair, about how striking the color was and how did she do that and then about how she was doing. At first, she was reluctant but gradually we built up a relationship of my acceptance where she was and her acceptance of my caring. After that she moved but when she came back, she would always make a point to find me and say hello. She went on and has been very successful in her career. The note I found spoke to me of her success and that her life was good. I am sure it helped that she had two parents who never ceased to love her. My point of this is that we need to talk to those who stand apart, those who are having a difficult time, those who seem to be saying “Stay away from me.” These are the ones who need a kind word, who need to find acceptance, who need someone that doesn’t try to solve their problems but accepts them where they are. I never forgot my rides to Port Huron and the council of a friend that gave me courage and acceptance but most importantly the ability to articulate my own thoughts and to make my own rules and to stand up for myself. She was a friend when I needed a friend.
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders, make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be full of grace.”Colossians 4:5-6a
“A friend loves at all times.”Proverbs 17:17
Dear Lord, may we reach out to those who need your love. We never know their problems, but we know you love them. May we show the love you have blessed us so abundantly with to them. Be with our church as we seek to do your will. May we truly be the hands and feet of Christ. Be with our Pastor, out staff and our leaders. Be with those who grieve, those who are ill and facing decisions, be with those who are lonely and saddened, be with those who struggle with decisions and those who seek your will. All these things we ask in Jesus name. Amen