It was just a few words in a text, but it took my breath away. My friend wanted to thank me for praying.
I hadn’t told her I was praying for her. But she knew. A few weeks ago, she’d shared some vulnerable pieces of her life after a MOPS meeting. We’d fumbled through the awkwardness and hugged with tear-brimmed eyes.
Sometimes the awkward conversations are the most important ones we can have.
When we move past the “I’m fine” and the feigned smiles and get down to the insecurities keeping us up at night, real conversations begin. Real relationships begin. Instead of merely talking about the church and assembling in a building once or twice a week, we become the church.
But that’s also when the real work begins, and it often sends us running.
Weeks passed, and whenever she would come to mind, I’d say a prayer. Even when I wasn’t sure how to pray, I would stumble through the darkness to bring my friend before the One who is Light.
Our words are never as important as the One who hears them.
I received her text thanking me on a day when I was feeling discouraged. The kids were acting up, the laundry was piled high, and morale was low. And to top it off, I was mulling over the words of my latest rejection letter.
Her confidence that I would pray without being asked lit something inside of me and lifted a weight I’d been carrying all week. I thought, “This is what the body of Christ is about.”
We bare our scars and our weaknesses, but instead of turning away, we lift each other up. We take off the armor of feigned busyness and cell phones, we slow down, and we and listen.
We remember one person is as important as an entire congregation. We remember the angels rejoice in the heavens over one person who comes to Christ. One person equals a party complete with song.
When did I forget that? I can dream about books reaching thousands and words spanning oceans, but until I start with one person, all is lost.
If I forget the infinite worth of one soul, everything else is useless.
Matthew 10:29 NIV
The person sitting next to you at church with the tattoos and the scars? You may be the friend she’s been waiting to say, “hello.” The reader who likes your post or comments on your blog? She may need prayer or a message of encouragement.
Let’s never forget this: Christ didn’t die for a congregation. He died for individuals with names, faces, and scars.
He bore the scars and sins of many so we could go and love many.
But we must always start with one.