A Call to Awkwardness
Can I confess something? I can spend so much of my energy trying to appear as if I have it all together that this facade can become more important than actual raw life.
And when this becomes more important than following God's prompting to love people into that raw abundant life? That's what we, the followers of Christ, call a problem.
Have you ever had a fleeting thought to encourage someone fly out the car window, pushed out by the rushing wind of your own self-absorption - or by the fear of being...awkward?
Well, I want to share how some awkward moments have blessed my heart lately!
I am so thankful to work at a Christian company that encourages prayer. And today I experienced a deep spiritual pull to intercede when one of my members emailed me with "I haven't had time to work on my website because my grandson was born and then died after just one hour of life..." This brought tears to my eyes then and tears to my eyes now.
After reading her email, I automatically heard, "May the God of hope fill you..."
I looked up the verse to find Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
At first I felt hesitant to share this as a part of my response to her because it seemed kind of offensive to pray joy and hope over someone who had just experienced such a loss. But that's the nature of the gospel. So offensively contrary to the norm. And so I humbly added in my condolences that I had heard this verse as I was praying for her.
You see, we spread the gospel through acts of rebellion against the norm - especially if the norm is lifeless and dark. It is our job to bring the light into this world, not to blend in with the dark.
Just last week God blessed me richly due to a coworker's willingness to obey God's prompting. It was a bit out-of-the-ordinary, but how much it blessed me eclipsed the supposed randomness of the exchange.
To give some background, one of our first conversations a few months ago went kind of like, "So, do you have kids too? No? Want kids? Oh, well, how long have you been married? Oh..."
Knowing I have this desire that hasn't yet come to pass, last week, on the way to our cars, he encouraged me to trust God for the right person on fire for the Kingdom to partner with and shared it's been on his heart to pray that out for me. This can be a seemingly embarrassing thing to talk about - especially at work (and online, I guess too?), but it so blessed me! And I want to share how God is actively working in my life, in the hoping, waiting, and development of faith - and through the love of the people around me!
Another special moment came today from another coworker who happens to be a long-time friend. He genuinely asked how I was doing and I was able to open up about some personal stuff and he, as he has done before, stopped everything he was doing to intently pray for me. This carried a heavier glory than being "fine" ever gave. It is so true that in our weaknesses, God is glorified. I feel much deeper of a person, much more soulfully known, when I am embraced in my weaknesses. Stronger when I am brought to our Loving Father.
So, for what it's worth, I will joyously start walking an even more radically-vulnerable life with less shame than I've carried before. Less hiding, more acting. And more reaching out to people with a bold love, even if it interrupts the status-quo. Because this ushers in the golden moments - the ones worth mining for!
Are there any areas of your life where you feel shame opening up about? Are there ever people you feel led to bless, but are tentative to do so for fear of being awkward? Please, please join me in becoming more bold in these areas. I'm praying a dangerous prayer for us right now - that we would listen to and flow with the Holy Spirit daily, trusting Him to take care of us so that we can be freed to enjoy the work of actively loving others and letting others love us!
Sincerely (and maybe even a little awkwardly),