Nearly 3 weeks on from when Chris and Craig Westhoff arrived and I am still processing my copious amounts of notes written from the wisdom they shared. What an honour to have these gifted friends come and hang out and minister to us for a whole 2 weeks - and the good news is they are coming back before the end of the year!!!
One of the sentences I’ve got written down in my notes and underlined multiple times is this;
“Can we see Him in each other? That’s His dwelling place.”
I can't get this out of my mind. When I am looking at my husband, children, friend, neighbour, stranger - am I seeing what God intended? His original idea crafted together by His own hand. Or am I a little blasé and blind to the worth of others? It made me wonder how we can keep growing as a community, as a family, to have a culture where it is normal to show up and be seen for who we really are. The great bits and the less than wonderful parts. I wonder whether it's harder to see the thumbprints of the Creator in each other when we come with the edited version of ourselves. When we hide behind “I’m fine” or when we avoid reaching out in a conversation or for prayer because it can feel risky.
We need a collaboration between the ones doing the looking and the ones being seen.
We need to look again; past the seen, beyond our preconceived ideas, further into the very essence of each person.
At the same time we need to shed the walls, lay down the filters and allow people closer so we can be seen just as we are.
So can we just agree to do that? To work harder at the “seeing” and to be brave enough in the “being seen”?
It’s no surprise that this was the message God brought to us through our prophetic friends. Kris Vallotton says, “The main function of a prophet is to equip the saints.” As we are seeking to LEAN IN to God and to each other this year, it’s not surprising that the we are being encouraged and equipped in how to do that.
As Chris and Craig shared at our Leaders Community gathering, they urged us to acknowledge our weakness and celebrate it because when we do we can look around the body and find the strengths we need in each other. Doesn’t that start with seeing? Seeing ourselves and each other clearly?
James 3v17-18 (The Message) says, “Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterised by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honour.”
What a challenging piece of scripture.
So here is what I propose;
Let's show up.
Le'ts be seen.
Let's look closer.
Let's call out where we see the thumbprints of our Maker.
Let's cheer each other on.
Le'ts be ridiculously generous in how we speak about each other.
Let's make sure people hear the great things others are saying about them.
Let's lean in.