I am in the middle of working three weeks straight, with no weekends. I am tired. I have been tired all week, but God continues to call me to His divine appointments.
Remember Nick? Well, his situation has gotten worse and God keeps telling me to care. So, this week I put my actions were my words are. I had coffee with him. Now before any of you jump to conclusions (because that is the kind of world we live in) Robert knows all about it and knew about it before it happened and is well aware of the conversations we had. But, here is what happened.
When you know someone for twenty years it give you some privileges to do and say certain things that in normal situations you wouldn’t. It also gives you a boldness you might not otherwise have when calling someone out. But, there is a fine line between holding someone accountable and helping someone who is hurting. So, I started at the beginning…where he was. What did he need from a friend that would help and not hurt him? First, he needed an ear, which I was more than happy to give. He was honest about his mistakes and how the mistakes of others have affected him and his family. I let him vent, without putting in my two cents (which if you know me at all was REALLY difficult).
The second thing he needed was to be held accountable. Lucky for me I have been his accountability partner for a couple of things, and believe that all our brothers and sisters in Christ should hold each other accountable. So, I boldly went forward. I told him he needed to be surrounded by Christian friends, and that meant, he had to go where he knew they and God were, i.e church. Now, that doesn’t mean he has to come to my church, but he needs to be where God is. But more importantly, he needs to be listening to God. Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a time and place to express your frustration at God (like you would with any a friend…he does call us friend you know) and to express your anger at life. But, if all you do is talk, you are not growing in your relationship. Just like any other relationship, there must be a dialogue with God. That means sometimes we have to shut our mouths and listen. He, at least in my experience, doesn’t usually speak audible, but God will use people, music, books, games, etc. to communicate with us. We just have to close our mouths and open our ears. Sometimes, it takes a friend of twenty years who has gone through the ringer with you to remind you of this.
Now, he did not go to church today, but he at least is open to the idea of looking beyond himself and moving forward to a brighter future. But the conversation was good healing for me too. We both came to a place of good friendship again, forgiving the other of wrongs done. Forgiving is so big. It is amazing what it covers and what healing it brings. If you have never forgiven someone who has really hurt you, honest to goodness deeply, I cannot begin to express how powerful a thing it is in for you personally and for the relationship. I highly recommend it.
So, divinely placed coffee date…yep.