On my very first day at the House of Prayer, a worker said, “Jesus has very few friends here, so we want to be His friends.” It was just passing phrase in an introductory conversation. One sentence out of a dialogue. But it marked me; pierced my heart. That one phrase set me on a deep and ongoing conversation with the Lord.
I walk the busy streets of this city, studying the faces of the many people passing by. I eat the food, and drink tea or coffee. I try to converse with locals and make new friends. As I go about my day, these words, “Jesus has very few friends here,” are constantly beating against my chest. Reverberating in the back of my mind. To be a friend where there are few, what does it mean?
I want to be Jesus’s friend here, in this nation, where there are few. To be His friend in the prayer room. Be His friend while walking those same streets day in and day out alongside the multitudes of people. I want to be His friend here, ass I learn the language and interact with locals. But what does it mean to be His friend where there are few?
More that just words and songs, which Jesus is infinitely worthy of, I seek intimate friendship with Him. To be like John the Baptist and rejoice when I hear His voice. To be like John the Beloved and be as close as I can to Him. And even like Peter, who despite all his weaknesses and immaturity, was still a whole hearted friend. I just want to be His friend.
Looking at the cityscape, I see buildings nestled together against sky and water. Peering out the windows I see people going about their day, oblivious to my watching. I ask again, “What does it mean to be Your friend?”
Then, Jesus came and sat down beside me, placing His hand on my back. He smiles across the city, the boats and people in a hurry. And He smiles at me.
“I have not brought you here to wear yourself out,” He says. “You are not just laboring for me, but you are laboring with me. Part of the labor is to just enjoy it with me. Delight with me. Have fun with me. Share about me. Toil with me. Drink tea with me. Talk to the people with me. Walk the city streets and pray with me. Hand in hand. I want you to laborer with me, as friends do.”
As I walk these streets to and fro, day after day, Jesus walks these streets too, going deep into the city to meet with His beloved. Interceding on their behalf, He sings loudly, rejoicing over them, and speaking words of life. He beckons them to come, come to the Father’s. All without them ever knowing. He carries their burdens, like the men who haul around the big garbage carts through the streets. And He’s there when the call to prayer goes out of the mosques. He’s so near to these ones. It’s a tragedy that they don’t know Him as they should.
What does it mean to be a friend of Jesus where there are few? On my part, to be His friend, I’m still in the process of finding that out. It’s multifaceted. Because there’s a part of me that He wants just for Himself; for me to just be with Him, to hang out as friends do. Jesus desires that sweet fragrance to arise over this region when there are so few who desire His companionship. But there’s another whole side, where I get to tell everyone about my friend, because Jesus is also jealous for friendship here. There are so few friends and He is worthy of them all to know Him as a friend.
The men who carry baskets of bread on their head and sell them at all hours of the day, Jesus wants to be there friend too. The woman who stands at a particular cafe, everyday, showing people to their seats, Jesus wants to be her friend to. The men who sing out the call to prayer in the mosques. The refugee women who peddle knicknacks. The students. Jesus wants friends out of this city and nation.
This friendship with Jesus changes everything, and I want them all to know that too.
http://mapsglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/July-14th.jpg11241651MAPS Adminhttp://mapsglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/MAPSLOGO-01-1030x488.pngMAPS Admin2019-03-29 12:00:352019-03-28 20:11:38To be a friend where there are few