Author’s note: This week, I will chronicle five lessons that I gathered from this past semester of college. If you missed the first lesson, read it here.
“Yet Jesus continues to select broken and splattered people not just as followers but as participants. He called people like me who can’t even figure out which end of a plastic bag to open His hands, He called people who trip every day His feet, and He called people who can’t figure out which way to turn a screw to tighten it or even stack a cake correctly the one who would build a kingdom.” (Love Does, Bob Goff)
I used to think God needed to show up in pillars and clouds for me to feel His presence, but now I know His essence is present in holy community. This past semester placed me in a vulnerable state; at first, I couldn't help but be obvious about how much I hurt. In my hurt, I was surprised to find so many wonderful friends stepping into my life to be with me—to walk alongside my hurt and speak comfort and hope. As the days went by though, I had to start choosing to open up about sad feelings because had I wanted to, I could have faked it. I could have faked it and pretended like I was ok again.
I chose to admit I wasn't ok and that I needed more special time from friends.
Not easy for a proud and reserved Mexican male accustomed to coping alone; I usually cope by turning to vices and clenching my jaw shut.
By the goodness of God, I chose to stay sensitive to the experiences He placed me in. I did not numb myself through pornography or alcohol or media binges; heck, I went a month without a laptop or a phone, which made me dependent on the company of friends and Jesus.
Through it all, I found myself singing sweet psalms because I realized I was still in His palms; His palms were not ethereal—His palms were composed of my friends. My brothers and sisters were the hands of Jesus, and they held me tight as I stumbled along.
My friend, are you hurting? Are you crying out to God? Are you in need?
Look beside you.
There are friends who are willing to step into your life; let them. They will be to you the hands of Jesus.
If you are alone, please, by all means contact me. I would love to give a little bit of what I experienced this semester: safety in the hands of Jesus aka community.