|Photo Credit: Photo Logic, Creative Commons|
We often judge people without knowing their story, which is sad.
It's pretty pathetic that we judge them at all, but anyway...
I was blessed to lead someone to Christ in the last few years who had been out of church for many years. Some had judged them for being away from God or church which only drove them further away.
I cared enough to ask why.
So many people start with what, when they need to start with why.
I knew my friend was angry at God.
I knew they weren't in church.
I knew where they were currently, but I didn't know why.
I asked why.
Because why matters to God and I believe it should matter to us.
Once we developed a relationship of trust, they explained to me, they had been abused by a pastor.
Catching up on the story of their past helped me to understand their present.
And once I understood, we could go from there, together.
It took a while, about a year in fact, after they disclosed the details of the past to me, that things took a significant turn. Sharing the weight of their story together, they were able to work through some issues, came back to faith in God, and also back to church -- this time attending a healthy church with an integral pastor.
It takes care and compassion to catch up with someone's life. I was blessed to be God's hand extended to my friend. Many more have been that, for me. In the past two years God has blessed me with some unexpected friends. They have cared enough to catch up with my life - the totality of it...family, ministry, relationships, woundedness, the whole lot of it. They cared enough to catch up.
Now when we speak and dialogue about how to move forward they do so with the knowledge of where I'm coming from. What a gift.
I'm so grateful for people who care enough to catch up and I want to be that person for others. God help me, to be that person.