Friend or Ministry

Yesterday was an unusual lunch day for a couple reasons: one of them good and one of them…well, I’ll let YOU decide. [Warning: this is a long post.]

As I left the building for lunch, I met a woman. She was visiting businesses to promote home healthcare for elders. In talking, she asked me if I worked there. I knew I lit up like ten times brighter and told her, “Yes, until Friday, and then I’ll be working from home because I started my own business!” I explained what I’ll be doing, so she took my card to connect with me later about ordering flags. Isn’t God amazing!

I remember being a closed-up-Christian: only mentioning God if I heard someone ELSE mention His Name. Now, I’m the one doing the mentioning all the time. I like being on this side a lot better. I enjoy mentioning Him and watching the other person light up in an instant and begin to talk about Him, like He was right on the tip of their tongue, waiting to be set free into the atmosphere. They light up, talk about Him, and walk away filled with hope. It’s amazing!

I continued on to the park and saw my friend, Howard. He runs one of the complexes near my work. Just from stopping and chatting with people on the street, I’ve met him, and we’ve become friends. It’s funny: he’s moving this week, and I’m leaving this week. Change is definitely in the air. What used to scare me now excites me, and I’m so very excited.

As I traveled along, I realized that God was having me walk down a path I used to walk, daily. I began to thank Him for all the time I’ve had in the park and asked Him if I’ve served Him well. I KNOW that I’ve walked “past” people, whom He wanted me to talk with, but I’ve stopped for a lot of them, too. I prayed for the people in the park, the city, the nation, etc. It was a good walk.

By the time I reached Lee, I was feeling so good and showed him all the goodies I’d brought for lunch. Someone had given him a sandwich with avocado, which he doesn’t like, so he gave it to me, and he ate what I brought. A woman from work had made cupcakes and gave them for whoever would be eating with me. We LOVED those! They were so yummy, but near the end of our lunch, Lee surprised me with a story.

He speaks in parables a lot. He’ll tell a story, and then relate it to the situation he told the story about. He talked about a man, who used to give Lee money every day for a week, and then, Lee motioned for him to stop, and when he did that, the man thanked him. When Lee asked him what his response meant, the man said he really couldn’t afford to help Lee but did so until Lee stopped him, and then Lee directed the story towards me.

He explained how I give so much of my time to him, time that could be going elsewhere. He talked about how he didn’t want to use up all my goodness and how someone else out there might benefit from my help. He talked in a way of, even, never seeing me again. It was…awkward.

I felt like we were friends. He spoke as if he was a ministry, but my life is ministry, so how do you differentiate? It was funny: we had JUST been discussing how some people want to live your life for you…want to fit you into THEIR mold, and then, he started talking about where I “should” be spending my time, what I “should” be doing. I said, “Aren’t you being like one of those people we were just talking about?”
He said no.

Luckily, I have transitional glasses that shade up in certain lighting, so I put them on, in case a tear was noticeable. Lately, I’ve been learning a lot about “friends,” who they are…who they’re not, and at times, I just don’t know. One thing’s for sure: God is a true friend, and it is an honor to lay down my life for Him. I’m not one to go where I’m not wanted. I’ve done that all my life. This year, I’ve learned that when I go where I’m wanted, it feels really good. Does Lee still want me around?

When things like this happen, I close up a little; sometimes…a lot. Today, a friend from work is taking me out for a good-bye lunch, so Lee will get a break from me, but tomorrow, we’ll see what happens: depending on how my heart responds, it may be a quiet lunch, if he’s there.

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