“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
One of my first and favorite memories of my mission experience in East Timor happened the first night I was there. I was invited to a small group in one of the pastors’ homes. I arrived, sat down on the tile floor. I had no idea what any of the ladies were saying and just sat back and observed. A young woman came in and fell to the floor sobbing. She just started laying it all out there. I sat beside the pastor who knew English, so she translated. The lady and her husband had just gotten into a huge fight over laundry. She had said some choice words to him and he to her. She was mad at him and also herself for the way she reacted.
I marveled at her transparency and then I watched as the women in the group gathered around her physically, married, single, young and old and they told her it was going to be ok, they’d get through this together, they were here for her. They offered her a few words of advice and encouragement and then they laid hands on her and prayed with her. And oh how they prayed, EVERYONE, out LOUD, fervently lifting this woman and her husband to the Lord.
How awesome was it that she found a place where she could share something like this and know that it would be received with love and trust.
It’s why we think small groups and being a part of a community of faith are so important. We all need a place to belong, to be loved and to trust. A place to come together, to talk about the hard things of life and faith, to seek God’s council, to grow in self and together learn more about how to have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. A place to be surrounded by people who love you and want God’s best for you.
I hope that you find a place to have this sort of experience. And I hope in turn that you are able to be honest about the things that are going on in your life. It’s important for us to be there for one another, especially in these days. And so important to be honest, not just to those around us, but to Him, who knows our everything.
I was reminded of this the other day when I heard this song on the radio.
It’s called “Truth Be Told” by Matthew West. Here’s a link if you’d like to check it out. Below the link are some of the lyrics….
“Lie number one you're supposed to have it all together.
And when they ask how you're doing
Just smile and tell them, "Never better".
Lie number two everybody's life is perfect except yours.
So keep your messes and your wounds
And your secrets safe with you behind closed doors.
Truth be told, the truth is rarely told.
Now I say I'm fine, yeah I'm fine oh I'm fine, hey I'm fine,
But I'm not, I'm broken.
And when it's out of control, I say it's under control but it's not.
And you know it.
I don't know why it's so hard to admit it,
When being honest is the only way to fix it.
There's no failure, no fall
There's no sin you don't already know.
So let the truth be told.
There's a sign on the door, says, "Come as you are" but I doubt it.
'Cause if we lived like it was true, every Sunday morning pew would be crowded.
But didn't you say the church should look more like a hospital
A safe place for the sick, the sinner and the scarred and the prodigals
Well truth be told
The truth is rarely told….”
Notes from the Staff @The Woods