Perspective changes everything. A few weeks ago, I made it happen. I went to visit Danielle. It wasn’t really a vacation but was a few days getting to experience her world. 3 kiddos, life, stay at home mom routines, army base- all very different than my life, and all very different than what she imagined or “planned” years ago. And it was amazing. Getting to have a few days with her 3 kids, eat the yummy food she cooked, drink some of the BEST coffee, and a surprise staycation with her, it was all incredible and a reminder of God’s goodness wrapped up in a visit. When she dropped me off at the airport, I said, “You’re a badass.” And she smiled, chuckled, and said, “Maybe text me that every now and then.”
Life has been full over the past year for many of us. One thing that I’ve really been aware of lately, is social media engagement versus authentic interactions. Danielle and I talk often, whether through phone, Marco Polo, text, or social media. But NOTHING can replace time spent in the company of someone- perspective changes everything. I know that is not as possible due to the pandemic, but it is possible when we step away from social media to actually engage with a person. There are so many conversations, narratives, memes, that we can get distracted and lost in information as opposed to people.
In Acts chapter 10 Peter gets a vision from the Lord to spend time with people who aren’t Jewish. Y’all, this was unheard of and Peter was shocked. The Holy Spirit led him and he proceeded to not only visit their house but eat with them! Sharing a meal was an intimate thing. What happened next was revolutionary. The Holy Spirit came upon gentiles!!! What?! This would forever change the landscape of being a Christian. Anyone could receive the Holy Spirit. This news traveled and Jews in Judea heard of Gentiles learning about new life. After Peter left and went to Jerusalem, Jewish believers questioned him, “Did you go into the home of someone who isn’t Jewish? And you ate with them!?” They did not stop and worship and thank God that gentiles were receiving new life. They were frustrated Peter was interacting with gentiles.
We Need Each Other
Do we do that? We see someone’s post or comment and jump to conclusions. We see a meme or a shared post and assume. How can we be more like Peter and trust God to guide our conversations? How can we engage in authentic dialogue and ask the Holy Spirit to direct our words and posture, as well as the person on the other end?
If there is anything 2020 has taught me, it’s how much we need each other. The enemy is at work and I believe his biggest tool is division. Sisters, let us lean into God’s word and engage in authentic conversations. Let us pour into relationships with authenticity. We never know how God will use us to shepherd non-believers or even believers who may be a little off track.
When they heard this, their objections were put to rest, and they all glorified God, saying, “Look what God has done! He’s giving the gift of repentance that leads to life to people who aren’t even Jews.” Acts 11:18
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