This past week has been quite eventful for this man.
I shared a few words at my matriarch's funeral, seeing after some time many faces that I grew up with and love very dearly, some faces I may never again see while on this plain.
Learned that a casual acquaintance, a career law enforcement official, lost his son to gang violence; I overheard him confessing to a relative he had not been the best father to his son.
A minister who pastored some of my relatives into their later years shared with me his challenges he had with some relatives regarding their perceived failure of his in continuing to meet their expectations.
A man who God brought to victory over his past, his vices and his fears who felt a desire to personally thank me regarding how God brought us together and orchestrated his repentance.
A woman a few years younger than myself offered her 'services' to me; she was coming down from a controlled substance; the Lord navigated our conversation in convincing her to seek Him while there is still opportunity.
There were a few more new friends I made this week, each with some of the same or usual challenges religion and the religious have caused them to suffer.
Some interactions are only minutes.
Some interactions last a few hours.
Some time is spent while breaking bread, with both newly met friends or long-time friends.
Some times, any interaction is only expressed from my heart as prayers to the I Am who hears and sees all things hidden and visible.
There are also the many usual suspects (a running joke I have with my wife when I tell her about my day and the interactions with the regular people this ministry serves), continuing our chats and intimate conversations from where we've left off.
Some of these encounters continue growing and deepening, while some others now deviating and falling cold.
I very often meet people who grew up with knowledge of the Lord, but have been overcome by witnessing the failings of men and religious organizations as these somehow have pulled them away from placing their hands to the plow and pursuing intimacy with the Lord despite themselves, their fears and their hurts.
We all have our journey to traverse, our story to tell, our experiences to reflect upon and our heart's concerns to resolve.
I see unity being developed, the continuity throughout the ages, the enlightenment of those who without effort of their own are brought to understand.
I also see the darkening of those who, despite their efforts and much pondering, are pushed further away from the light.
Yet everything has yet to be set in stone... for what “is” today may not be tomorrow, and vice versa.
And can this man take any credit for the situations, the people, the occasions and the purpose He has set in my heart to effort?
I would be a fool if I would think yes.
And perhaps I may be foolish enough to take any credit or honor, if I were to forget my humanity and the thorns the Lord has chosen to not remove from my side.
I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven.
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till He shows us His mercy.
- Psalm 123: 1-2
“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ”
- Luke 17: 7-10
Therefore Yeshua said again, “Very truly I tell you, I Am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I Am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
- John 10: 7-10