Faith, life, relationships, Spiritual Encouragement, Uncategorized
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Show Up, Kneel Down, Seek God {3 Things Real Friends Do}

“I wish the others could have come,” his small voice said wistfully from the backseat, “They would have liked to cheer me on.”

We were heading to Seattle for a dance competition, Nikko’s first with his all-boy hip-hop group.

Our weekend trips usually include all four kids and maybe a pet, a lot of pit-stops along the way, snacks, copious quoting from movies and at least an argument or two.

This was the most time Nikko had ever spent in a car with his parents and two full rows of seats all to himself. He might have been thrilled, but instead he was a little lonely, even for the conflict that siblings so readily provide.

I believe at the heart of Nikko’s response to the vast empty back-seat of the Honda was this: he is part of a community and community is part of him.

He has related this deep appreciation for other people who have been constantly in his life. His neighbor buddy from across the street has been his friend since diaper days. Not long ago Nikko said to me, “Mom, I can’t imagine my life without Christian. He has always been my friend.”

I love watching the appreciation and value of relationship develop in my children. It fosters a sense of belonging and interdependency. I love watching that happen in grown-ups, too.

This past week, seven men sat in my basement and prayed.

Busy men with grown-up responsibilities, families, jobs and commitments set aside everything for a few hours to meet in prayer for their friend who called for help. They bended knee, they embraced, they followed this instruction from Peter:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety upon him because he cares for you. {1 Peter 5:5-6}

Then, they came upstairs and ate the leftovers from my family dinner and by this, made my simple ham and noodle dinner a holy feast.

And I stayed in my room for the beauty of it.

Because out there, in the kitchen, in the faces of my friends and my husband I saw Christ and the hard-fought humility of his love for us. It was too much for me, so I stayed back in my room and prayed this would be, for them, a night of memorial stones. A place they could each touch back to when they feel alone and in need of community.

Because we all need to be cheered on. We all need the companionship and challenge that our friends provide.

We need the family that bears the name of Christ to show up on doorsteps and in basements and into the lives of one another. We need the linking of arms because life is a battle and the enemy is persistent and the wounds reach deep enough that without those arms linked in a chain, the legs aren’t strong enough to stand.

***

Friends,

We’ve all been blessed and let down (even hurt) by members of our communities, families, churches. Might I encourage you to press on arm in arm with the people in your community and make yourself willing to participate in these three activities of Christian love?

1. Show Up

2. Kneel Down

3. Seek God

This never fails. It may be uncomfortable, but it is undeniably effective. If you don’t have friends that Show Up, Kneel Down and Seek God together, I encourage you to ask your Father in Heaven, who gives generously (James 1) to lead you to a community of imperfect people who seek the face of our perfect God. People who will do this with you and for you are your truest friends.

Blessings,

Alyssa

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