Thursday, September 11, 2014

Revival

This week's gifts...
836. Not setting the microwave on fire (there is a limit to how long a damp dishtowel can endure radiation before it starts to burn)
837. and a wasp (or other stinging insect) not flying in the door I left open so that the smoke and fumes could clear
838. A surprise date night in with my Bear (pizza and Moms' Night Out - he chose the movie!)
839. Enough time to run errands and pack before Adam got home from his work event
840. Stocking up on supplies before visiting Fayetteville, instead of the other way around - Little Rock is starting to be home
841. Brooklyn's contentedness for the entire drive, despite only sleeping for 30 minutes of it


842. Being able to witness a knitter, coworker, friend, and now-sister's baptism
843. and the entire pew full of people that she invited

In the past, I have done evangelism very, very wrong - I've been arrogant and superior and hypocritical and probably the target of those "Lord, protect me from your followers" bumper stickers. But the more I grow in faith, the smaller I find myself becoming - I don't have all the answers, I don't know everything, and I certainly can't see into people's hearts.

Now I just try to live out love in a way that would cause someone to call me a Christian (instead of me having to tell them that I am one because otherwise they'd have no idea). I suppose that's why she started asking me questions, about a year and a half ago. We'd sit and knit at Handheld, where I was working at the time, and talk about all kinds of random things - and sometimes those things were theological. When I mentioned a Bible study that I was coleading with a college student friend in a generic to-whom-it-may-concern Facebook status, she asked if I would give her a ride from campus. So I gave her a ride and a Bible, and she came with more questions.

And then she kept coming. She started reading the Bible I'd given her, and messaging me long questions that sent me to my knees and my own Bible, feeling extremely unqualified (Leviticus. God, why Leviticus?!). Her life-path has led through places that I can't even imagine, and that gave her a completely different perspective which often rocked mine.

But after Christmas, there was a shift. Her questions continued, but they were mixed in with epiphany-statements that perfectly and accurately summarized theological concepts that I, raised in church and in a Christian home, still struggle with. She became noticeably more joyful (despite a series of difficult life events happening in rapid succession) and filled with a passion for Jesus that bubbled out in a beautiful way. She was transformed.

Being a part of the thunderous applause and scattered cheering that followed her public act of obedience through baptism brought tears to my eyes - and made me think about the word revival. To live again. Really, a new believer isn't living again - they're being brought to life for the first time. But a believer who is living out the Great Commission and making disciples lives anew through the eyes of each lost-sheep-found --- because their questions force us to examine the reason for our beliefs, their innocence brings us back to the Gospel in its purest form, and their fresh delight can reignite our faith when our own sense of wonder is slowly twisted into jaded cynicism.

So I'm not only grateful for the joy and hope she's found - I'm also grateful for the renewal that her journey toward the Light has brought to me.
_______________

844. Spending an evening with Adam's parents and brother and sister-in-law --- and meeting our new little niece
845. Waking up in time to say bye to Mum before she left for work and we left for home
846. Getting to meet Adam's mom for lunch on our way out of town
847. An uneventful trip home. with time for us to talk while Brooklyn played and counted her toes in the back seat
848. Managing to make both dinner and a quiche for my breakfasts after Brooklyn's nap
849. Adam getting home from work in time to see her before bed, and while dinner was still warm
850. Unexpected knitting time
851. Visiting Adam at the Armory with the lunch he forgot, since he was working late and ended up needing dinner (and he and Brooklyn got to see each other that way!)
852. Espying a tiny adorable gecko while we were there - I didn't know we had them here
853. An offer to do customer service remotely for a knitting publishing company - from a person I've enjoyed working for in the past


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will trust in Him.
[Lamentations 3:22-24]

Won't you join us in counting (and recounting!) His mercies anew? Just grab a journal or notebook (it doesn't have to be fancy) and a pen and write them down, then join us each week to encourage each other by sharing all of the blessings we've spotted. Catch up on everyone's posts and if you don't have a blog, feel free to participate by commenting, instead!

Check out these #NewEveryMorning hosts, as well, and don't forget to use the hashtag on Twitter so that we can find each other:
   Kayla [at] Renown and Crowned
   Kelsey [at] Faith Fun and the Fergusons

2 comments:

Kayla said...

That. is. awesome.

You're right -- there's something "living again" about seeing someone else "come to life" for the first time. God is gracious to include us in His plan for the nations.

Amy Baggett - author/speaker said...

Love this testimony! I have thought of evangelism as speaking the gospel where Jesus is not, but truly I can see now that it is following Jesus to where He is already working.