We are in the same pew.
I try to catch her eye.
We have been having a dance for months!
I try to reach out to her.
She runs away!
She fidgets in her seat.
Today is Communion…
A time we are reminded of
Jesus’ sacrifice in our place…
that allows us to commune with
as well as one another.
I look into her face as she passes me the bread.
Her eyes look away.
Not once do they meet mine.
The wine is passed.
Once again, I look at her, hoping to connect.
Once again, she avoids my gaze.
This poor young woman.
She has a wall built around herself that is difficult to penetrate.
As someone who is trained to observe signs and symptoms…
I see many signs of depression…in her face, her manner, her demeanor.
I try to greet her afterward.
Her response is programmed. Her words say to me, “I’m fine.”
But her body language says, “But if I weren’t, I would never tell you!”
I am not one of the people she will allow into her life.
I am sad for her. She is lonely.
Attempts to reach out to her tend to be misinterpreted or rebuffed.
My frustration knows no bounds.
My only hope is to break down the wall through prayer…
and continuing to reach out to her in what feels like baby steps.
I also need to recognize that this isn’t about me…AT ALL!
God will need to work. Nothing I do seems to help really.
I am not wanted.
I don’t have the innate ability to express the love of Christ to this person…
in a way that she is able to receive it
Apart from the work of Christ in both of us.
This poor woman has no idea how much she needs
the people who realize how needy she is.
Even more, she needs to know the love of Christ…
in ways she has never experienced it in community.
May GOD have mercy on her
and open her eyes to the community of grace that is all around her.
She represents a legion of people I have known over years of ministry.
I have even been this woman at times…to my own peril.
This same young woman, or older man, or teen girl, or middle-aged woman
May be sitting next to you at church;
Working near you at your job;
Be in your family;
Be your neighbor.
Often they are “in Christ” in the sense that they are believers
but are miserable because they aren’t accessing the resources
available to them…IN CHRIST.
They are living as orphans inside the family of GOD!
You may feel the frustration of not being able
to reach them in meaningful ways.
GOD is bigger than your limitations.
He may even use someone else.
Keep praying for them.
Keep loving them to the degree they will allow it.
Keep moving toward them, not away.
They are suffering…they don’t need to,
but they may never have known anything different.
GOD is working in their lives.
He loves them in ways you can’t begin to!
This is a reprise of a post I wrote April of 2012. Today I’m sharing this with Fellowship Friday #50 readers.