Field Notes From A Prayer Warrior

Come as you are…

-Jesus extends acceptance and kindness first. He never says, “First clean up your act, then come to me.” Rather He first says, “Come.”

–hopeline.com

-“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

–Matthew 11:28

-“How’s it going, Jerry?”

“Not too worse!”

–my dad

-Farm workshop facilities:

A workshop provides a focal point at the farmstead for the repair and maintenance of machines, implements, and structures. It also provides a place where tools can be stored in an orderly manner, a store for supplies and spare parts, and a shelter where work can be carried out during inclement weather.

–fao.org

The shop on our farm was all of the above…and more. It was the hearth of our homestead…a chaotic and grimy one, to be sure, but fulfilling that role quite nicely, despite the mess.

And what a magical mess it was.

Within its confines my dad could fix anything…picture frames, vacuums, donated dirt bikes, tractor trannies. If the part didn’t exist, or was obsolete, he’d fabricate it, conjured out of decades-old bits and bobs hiding in forgotten corners.

The day of his funeral…well, I was just maintaining…sleepwalking, really…doing my level best to hold meaningful conversations through a tangle of emotions, praying I was saying the right things. My memories of it all are a little hazy and disjointed, but what jumps out, with technicolor clarity, are these random/not random comments people shared…

“Your dad was always there for me.”

“He’d give the shirt off his back.”

“All the times he let me fix my bike in the shop…”

“He’d make time to talk, no matter how busy he was.”

“Your dad saved my life. He’s the reason I quit drinking.”

“I’d walk in sad, and I’d leave laughing.”

He didn’t just repair machines. He repaired people.

My dad would never have claimed to be a saint…but he had a gift of meeting people where they were at. Of seeing who they were beneath the outward appearance. Of knowing their heart…

Always dispensing the perfect amount of encouragement and wisdom…

“That’s fixable.”

“It’s all just a part of being cool.”

“Yup, that’s a shi**y deal.”

“You are an idiot, you know that?…”

Dropping truth bombs like a boss.

Even if we don’t possess THAT particular skill…or a shop…our homes, our lives, our hearts can be welcoming places where people can come and rest and have peace and be seen and loved.

“Yes, our stupid, imperfect, ordinary lives can be holy.”

–Kate Bowler, “Good Enough”

We can live more…love more…BE more…like Jesus.

A tall order indeed.

A Great Commission, you might say.

Any time we feel ill-equipped for the work…or unworthy…or weary in “doing good…”

We can step into Jesus’ shop…

Pop that truck stop coffee into the microwave to reheat…heave our muddy, greasy, coverall-clad backsides into a tattered chair…drop our feet on a barrel…

And just sit with Him.

Knowing He’s there…just there

To listen, to love on us, maybe rib us a little, if that’s what’s needed.

You can come as you are…

And you might walk in sad, but you’ll leave laughing.

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