“God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.”
-1 Corinthians 1:27
“Tonight, Beloved. You’re ready.”
My hands gripped my steering wheel even tighter as I took a deep breath in between songs and cleared my throat, “Hey Mary? What do you think about it being time? Like, tonight?”
As clear as I heard Him speak, I still ached for confirmation. In moments like this, my heart is so faint in me and though I fully know what He said, still I struggle to have courage and step into the fiery path of the enemy. I knew that’s exactly what we would be doing and I was not looking forward to what we would have to fight through to keep this time sacred. Though I did not receive immediate verbal confirmation from my friend, we still knew it was right. Hours of songs later and quick trips to snag green Monsters, we found ourselves in my car waiting for the right moment. As is so natural to me, I flipped to my worship playlist and encouraged my friend, “since we’re going to be pouring out, let’s spend time getting our hearts right and filling ourselves with Him as much as He will give us. We cannot go into this weak. We know what He has spoken- let’s be intentional.” So we worshipped. We thanked God for everything He is, for the deep and enduring faithfulness He has shown in these last 5 years. Minutes ticked by quickly- and yet somehow it felt like an eternity with Him. Tears flowed freely from both hearts and as we climbed out of my car, our resolution was clear. No longer cloudy and unsure, but strong and full of fire.
There was more laughter to be had, many more hugs to be given and as the crowd of people thinned out, we all breathed easier. Watching friends interact with each other was a gift. As Mary and I waited with patience, I secured a perch off to the side where I could easily observe yet jump in and be present if the need arose. Time continued passing quicker than it needed to, and before I knew it, we were taking last minute snapshots and preparing to say our goodbyes. In a moment of resolution, my trembling hands clasped securely in my lap lest they give me away, I voiced our request and the three of us trudged off the cozy warm bus to the chilly outdoors.
I’d love to say that it got easier after that, but instead, my heart was challenged. Suddenly it was like i couldn’t remember words or anything and as I made eye contact with my friend to share my heart, a surge of emotion and a flood of fire came over me. I blinked and my eyes gazed up, blazing. It was now or never.
Standing firm, hand in hand, gripping the shoulders of our dear friend, we closed our eyes and before the throne of Jesus, we began to fight in prayer. Speaking truth, declaring promise and somehow shielding against the enemy all at once… words spilled from our mouths again and again. Even though we were all physically shaking from the cold, I felt flushed from the fire raging within me- this was war and these were important battle changing moments. As Mary finished with utter grace, we both looked at each other in incredible awe. It was abundantly clear that this was so far beyond either of us – and we were better for it. It took several moments to realize there was a heart moved deeply standing with us, and the moment was absolutely right for a massive group embrace. We hugged so hard and I didn’t want to let go. There was a fragility I’d not witness for years and my heart was moved so strongly. With a choked whisper, we said goodbyes and Mary and I walked back to my car.
We waited several moments to say goodbye to another Kingdom friend, and then as we took off, I set my playlist to an old favorite that fully embodied the night. This was the body of Christ. Sometimes the hand is strong when the foot is weak and sometimes the shoulder needs help from the knees. To speak life over a heart that has so often spoken into our lives for years was a gift far beyond words- I’m still trying to process it in my mind and heart.
More than ever I’m convinced that despite the divided hearts in our world, it is in the shelter of each other that we were meant to live.
Not alone. Not secluded. TOGETHER. In unity.
“if there is any peace, if there is any hope,
we must all believe,
our lives are not our own.
We all belong.
God has given us each other
and we will never walk alone.”
-jars of clay