Many of my friends, like me, are not likely company to join the Lord Mayor for High Tea. I like to think that I am emulating Jesus who was accused of being a ‘friend of sinners’. I got a message from a person I have been walking with for several years. I met this person in the Half Way House and we slowly but surely built a relationship. This friend is very rough around the edges but has come to experience an internal change of heart!
The message read, “Wow! I know I’m not perfect but I know God is good all the time. And He loves me while on my own journey.” Most of society had written this person off but God never writes anyone off. There is always an opportunity to experience his love and forgiveness, in this life. Those in the ‘Criminal Justice System’ (oxymoron?) would not be surprised by the change in my friend, they would be shocked! A life that was marked by impulsive selfishness now exhibits kindness and consideration. This is a reason to continue in this ministry. This is a reason to get up in the morning. This overwhelming grace of God which my friend experiences is mine and can be yours, as well.
I have another, long time friend, who had disappeared for a few years. This sometimes happens, for a variety of reasons but those reasons are seldom good. I make it a practice not to chase people but to simply let them know that I am going to be around when they want to return and that there will be no condemnation if and when they return. One of the most painful things is to see people make real progress in their walk, and then see them slip away. This painful experience is unfortunately, common place. It is always a joy to see folks return. Sometimes folks who are very active with us, for a while, will suddenly disappear and we experience a ‘ministry set back’, but the pain filled experiences people have during these interludes can be very educational.
One of the challenges associated with the style of ministry that I think of as ‘micro-mission’ is that the loss, even temporarily of soul, is devastating professionally but even more important personally. Over the years I have experienced this dozens of times.
Today we rejoice that our friend is back in our company but most of all that she has placed herself firmly in the company of the Saviour who loves her and invites her continual into his fellowship.