Walking into a heart…
We usually pray twice a week here in the Philadelphia office. It’s a good time to touch base as many of the staff are out teaching and training more often than not.
I was struck by one prayer offered by Bob Heywood recently. He was to speak to a group of seminarians and wanted to speak in a way that was both winsome and helpful. Since they would eventually pastor congregations Bob was anxious that he equip them well – especially as they ‘walked into people’s hearts’.
That phrase struck a chord with me. So often church leaders and teachers forget the impact they have on people’s lives simply because of their position! Even when I pick up the phone here in the office it’s easy to forget that I too have an impact on people – especially if they are taking their courage in both hands and calling for help for the first time.
Bob’s words were and are a reminder that we need to take care as we step into someone’s life – either as a pastor or simply as a friend. We need to enter carefully lest we do more damage then good; and we need to be sure that we have actually been invited! Often it isn’t advice thats needed. Often the best help we can offer is our presence and our awareness of their circumstance. A willingness to walk along side someone at a messy time in their lives.
We’ve all had someone not just walk into our hearts uninvited, but stomp around in great big muddy boots and not even close the door when they eventually left! My thoughts about such people are always less than edifying. Bob’s prayer keeps rattling around my brain and I hope I never forget it. May I always tread carefully, may you do the same!