Field Notes From A Prayer Warrior

A reluctant activist…

activist: a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change

–Me: I always wanted to be a cheerleader.

–My fiance John: You are…you’re a cheerleader for God.

As the Lord’s servant, you must not quarrel. You must be kind toward all, a good and patient teacher, who is gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth.

–2 Timothy 2: 23-25

I don’t consider myself an activist. If someone has a cause that speaks to my values, beliefs, and heart, I will happily support them…from the sidelines.

Like a cheerleader.

But sometimes cheerleaders have to take the field.

I’m all about “buying local.” So, there I was, totally geeking out and browsing through one of my favorite shops, one of those places with a fairly extensive (yet curated), eclectic mix of offerings. You never know what you’re going to find…

That day it was…refrigerator magnets.

Sounds innocuous, right?

Um…not so much.

Sparing you the gory details…these magnets were expounding on particular viewpoints…and pretty much denigrating anyone who ran counter to them. I have a pretty high threshold for the inappropriate, the irreverent, and the offensive (I was a middle school teacher, for crying out loud, and I grew up with Monty Python), but a couple of them were so nasty that any intended humor was essentially killed off.

Then my eyes lit on one…among several of that ilk…but, for me…the worst…

“I’m so glad I found you instead of Jesus.”

The lion in me ROARED.

“Okay, NOW you’ve done it! You mess with Jesus, you mess with me!”

I prayed, “Holy Spirit, hold my mouth closed as I exit this store…remember James 1:19, Shelbo…slow to speak…slow to anger…”

Because…James 1:20…

…human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

He let me know that a “Peter slicing off someone’s ear” approach was not what He wanted…and it wouldn’t have been helpful.

I vowed to never darken their doorstep again, yet in the days that followed, I still felt…a Nudge…to do more…

To take the field.

I came before Him. “So, Lord…how do I proceed? Go in and ask to speak to the manager? Man, that is so Karen…is that the move? No?…An e-mail?…Okay…but You’re gonna have to help me write it…deal?”

Deal, Shelbo.

With the help of my Co-Author I crafted a short note that communicated, in a light and measured tone, all my misgivings about those messages. I shared that in an establishment that boasts “All are welcome,” this “self-professed Jesus freak” did not feel “welcome” at all, but, rather, insulted and judged. I added that it’s difficult to support a business that goes out of its way to NOT support me.

As I pushed “send,” I felt complete peace. Whether they responded or not, I’d put it out there. I hadn’t faded, per usual, into the background. I had stood up and spoken the name of Jesus!!!

I spoke His name and His truth, guided by His Spirit, in His fierce, yet gentle, way.

He is, after all, the Lion and the Lamb.

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