I was settling down this afternoon, after a morning of doing stuff, to open my Bible, dive in and soak. I had my Bible study notes, a notebook and a pen and prayed for revelation – something I hadn’t seen before, or a clearer picture of something that was familiar. I was just about to step on my spade ready to dig when God said, “Go visit someone!”
I am a homebody. I like my own company for the most part. I like me and the empty room. My husband is not a homebody. He likes to be with people, enjoying company and chat. Often during the holidays, he will ask me who I saw that day. He knows how much I indulge the hermit in me!
I decided to go and visit a friend I had not seen for a while and although Joe and I intended to visit over Christmas we never quite made it. The Christmas presents for her and the children were still beside the front door, as they had been for the last few months! I thought that I might as well deliver them! I thought maybe I could induce her to come for a walk. (Weight Watcher’s weigh in night – I put on a pound!)
We talked for a while. We talked about church. I told her all about our involvement with Healing on the Streets and Street Pastors. She was very encouraged by it all and thought that “once upon a time” she could see herself doing something like that, but not anymore. She remembered the days when she was on fire for God, but how with her illness things had become difficult to manage.
We piled into the car and visited another friend neither of us had seen in a while. This other friend is someone who you just can’t help confiding in and sure enough, over a cup of tea, my friend admitted just how lonely she had been feeling. Sometimes making and keeping friends was a difficult business. I know that for many people I am hard work, but my friend is even harder. Part of it is down to her medication and the side effects. She just unloaded all her concerns and frustrations and as we watched we could almost see the weight on her shoulders being lifted! She worked her way through a box of tissues and between sniffs and apologies told us just how things really were.
After an hour or so, there was silence. It was a comfortable silence. I don’t think anyone offered advice. Sometimes advice is not what people are looking for – they just want someone to listen. I could see that things were being mentally taken note of and I knew that once we had left the house lots of the things talked about would be prayed about!
The afternoon that I had planned for myself turned out to be very different. I did exactly what God had planned for me – I visited. A lot of what God wants to teach is on the job. There is a time for reading and learning and there is a time for doing and learning.