I glance over a couple aisles past the one I was headed for and I see a familiar hat. And underneath the hat is a familiar form. And he is standing there talking to a friend we both have that we don’t get to see very often.
So I detour on over and now it’s a threesome catching up in the box store.
Somewhere in the conversation our mutual friend mentions that in reading the recent Torah portion he had come under conviction about a small little thing he was ?guilty? of in the past. It involved a mechanical pencil that he had that wasn’t his. Evidently it was like taking home an item from work and just having it for your own, type thing.
So what got to him was that this was such a little thing for him to come under conviction about, kind of, I guess, the offense, being out of proportion with the level of conviction he was experiencing. Weren’t there more significant flaws that needed dealing with, maybe a question in his mind.
So one of us responds how in the Scriptures there is a ruling that “…if he knocks out his male or female slave’s tooth, he must let him go free in compensation for his tooth…” Exodus 21:27 CJB. The sense of it being that relatively speaking, what seems like a small thing can result in serious/costly consequences.
The other guy mentions how the Word speaks of a caution that “…It takes only a little hametz to leaven the whole batch of dough…” Galatians 5:9 CJB. This in the sense that a small misstep can lead to bigger missteps especially if one considers small things too insignificant to matter.
We do make those kinds of judgments. And they do make us feel like there are some things we don’t have to get overly concerned about. Of course that is a mistake.
So we talked about other things, what’s been happening, ongoing project and such, what I would say was a well rounded conversation.
A little later, as I’m tending to the intended business I was there for, I thought, you know maybe he should have been encouraged by the conviction he was feeling. It seemed like good sense that it he wasn’t feeling conviction over something big, like lying or cheating or back biting that these were things that Yahweh and he had been addressing already and were under control. After all when we come to that point of conviction and brokenness and surrender our will and our lives to Him, our house is being swept clean and put in order. Naturally the big things would be unloaded first. And from there the ongoing “light dusting”, so to speak, would have to be done to continue with our home improvement.
The other point of encouragement would be that our Father was/is present in his life and active in directing his growth. That would be a proof of His concern and love for him.
And then a little later yet I realized what a blessing that encounter and conversation really was for all three of us. There we were, three grown men making conversation about projects we have going on and just as natural as it was to talk about renovation or materials or how to do something, mistakes made and fixes, so it was just as natural for us to talk about the ongoing project of personal spiritual growth, the continual work to maintain and protect and improve the new nature and image we have and aspire to. It was natural, comfortable, normal.
Anytime, anywhere there can be conversation that flows freely and easily between people who aren’t preaching or correcting but are sharing and listening, and commenting on what comes to mind. There is comfort and learning that comes from that. Our fellowship and conversation is enriched.
That kind of ease and comfort doesn’t happen all the time. There are those that we will be hesitant to or actually do not talk to, about God and spiritual things going on in our lives because we are afraid of the reaction…or we know what the reaction is going to be. And we don’t care to go there.
And maybe there is something useful here. In most any conversation acknowledging God, His goodness, that He is, giving Him glory in some way, it could be something that could be said. But could it not be done from a personal perspective? “Praise the Lord or thank God for that or I believe Abba Father was looking out for me on that one.”
We could say things in a way that brings Him up as part of our own lives and doesn’t require agreement or even the other sharing in some way. It’s just a witness that He is the normal reality of our lives and it is just a natural thing for us to do to acknowledge Him in our conversations with folks.
It’s a soft introduction to someone of who we are and who knows where that would lead.
Father…thank You so much!
In drawing close to You we are blessed to be able to draw close to one another.
Thank You that You are present in our lives and that we can share with one another our personal experience with You, with ease and comfort and welcome, anytime, anywhere.
Thank You that we are not alone, because You are with us… and because we have one another.
Guide us Father so that our conversations with those who are not close to You will serve as a glimpse in… and an invitation… and that we will be ready to honestly share.
We love You Yahweh.
In Yeshua’s name we pray,
May God’s love be in us all.