Having a conversation with a stranger and knocking on strangers’ apartment doors isn’t exactly on my weekly to-do list, but I’m so thankful that it’s on God’s. On local ministry we do just that. We knock on doors and make friends. My team has stood in doorways and tried our best to communicate with a Spanish-speaking Cuban man. We’ve stood on walkways and had conversations with a man having a smoke. We’ve heard the life pains and stories of an eighty-three-year-old. We have stood in front of many doors promptly shut in our faces by people who don’t really have a smile to offer. It was at the house of an eighty-three-year-old man named Nelson, that I watched God start a transformation in my heart.
I looked at his face and knew that every wrinkle was a story of experience, and that his worn hands told a story of hard work. I watched his eyes change a little bit when he talked about his nine children, or how much he missed his wife. I heard of a man who dealt with great back pain, yet still delighted in the opportunity to be alive. It’s in these stories he shared that I felt God whisper to me, “Look how beautiful my child is”.
Nelson wasn’t beautiful because of his outward appearance; he was beautiful because God called him His child, and God called me to love him simply because of that.
I come from a part of the world where everyday life consist of walks through the woods and sunsets over the lake. I thought that life couldn’t get any better than looking at the works of God’s hands in nature. I was 100% wrong. God finds more beauty in the people He loves, and the hurt and rejoicing they’ve been through, than in the beauty of nature. That was made so very real to me when I had a conversation with Nelson. God has called me to find the same beauty. He calls me to look into the eyes of His people and love them, simply because God wants them to know how passionate He is about them and about their lives.
I have been so abundantly blessed because God continues to rewrite my weekly to-do list, and He continues to ask me to do things that only He can do through me. This is where I find life, and life abundantly.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Lily is an adventurous student in our Winter Discipleship Training school. She was raised on a sheep farm in Michigan and has spent her summers working at camps and a local farm. If you can believe it, Lily is more of a coffee aficionado than all of the staff coffee snobs! She calls herself a slacker, but not in the way you might think. Lily loves slack-lining.