“Until we are ugly, unholy & untouchable, we will never truly know who our friends really are. Failure and loss are the great clarifiers. They divide fans from friends. Fans will orbit around the sunshine of your life until your bright ball of fire loses it’s glow…or worse, goes out!! When the cold comes and there’s nothing more to be gained by being close, distance sets in.
The crazy thing is…when you stumble and fall…fans and friends will tell you the exact same thing; they love you, they’re praying for you, and they wish you the best, but a friend takes one more step. It’s a big one. They do something!! Touch your pain, bandage a wound, and meet a need. Tolerate brokenness. Risk associations. Get dirty. Silence accusers. Love single-handedly. Be misunderstood.
Jesus is always that friend. He took stones away. Touched lepers. He threw homecoming parties for prodigals. He granted thieves paradise…He was a friend to the untouchable. ” Blaine Bartel
Blaine Bartel was a Youth Ministry Leader and Pastor that I once heard speak at youth conference in 1985. A few years ago I read about his fall, another tragic moral failure from a Christian Leader. I was so encouraged to hear of his repentance, healing and restoration. The above statement didn’t come because he read it in a book or heard a great Preacher shout it, no it came from the depths of his pain and failure. In that place of regret, remorse, pain, Blaine cried out and found His Savior waiting, and ready to forgive and renew.
This quote struck me because I wanna love like Jesus. He reached out to people in the mire and mud. He never condones our sin, but He always reaches out to us with love. Love doesn’t always look like Chocolates, flowers and presents. Scripture does speak of God’s jealousy for us. It isn’t the jealousy of an insecure lover who is afraid we’ll be swept away. No it is the cry of a heart that is jealous for us to attain all we were destined to be and to become. His eyes of fire are fighting for us to walk in the glory and destiny of sons and daughters of the King of Kings! He longs for us to forsake the lesser things because He knows what we were made for and it is so much greater than we’ve ever imagined. He’s jealous for you and He is fighting for you. You’re a beauty to fight for and so is that other one who is entrapped by snare of their own making. Jesus is fighting for me and if I truly love Him I will fight for those He loves whose lives are worth so much more than they realize.
Do you know someone who has found themselves ensnared and entangled by sin! Reach out to them in love, once they are assured of your love, their hearts will be far more inclined to receive an exhortation. Fight for them! You’re gonna get good at this because you’ve got the Holy Spirit on the inside!