It was love at first sight

Unexpected friendship

It was love at first sight! That long brown wavy hair and those eyes that spoke louder than words could ever express. As I dared looking deep into the soul of another, I found the love of my life…….Jesus!

It was my introduction to Alan that I realized that a big part of participating in God’s Kingdom meant our involvement with the special people who are on God’s heart, the poor, needy, widow, orphan, and alien.

It was right here in downtown Calgary on a cold November Thursday evening 2005, when I first met Alan. I came over, I introduced myself and shook his hand and asked him the everyday question, “how are you?” The response was not your typical “fine or good”… was “well, things aren’t going so great”…..

Well what do I do? Do I dare ask more leading questions, do I brush him off and move on. I knew in that moment, Jesus wanted me to engage. Engage with the need and the hurt of this man, engage with compassion and love like Jesus so often modelled in the Gospels.

Alan went on to share his story with me about being on the street in the summer with his two children (9 and 11 at the time), and just recently getting into a Calgary housing home in the fall, but having no money, no income and City of Calgary was going to cut off their heat because of overdue bills.

It was in this moment, that I knew what i called ministry was going to look a lot different to me than what I have been used to in the past. I have been used to training teams, running programs and leading schools for Christians who want to take adventurous steps in their faith. Though that has an important place to play, my life in ministry was starting to be defined as loving the poor and becoming friends with the marginalized of society……our society……all societies.

Since 2005, Alan and I have actually become really good friends! Our relationship is no longer defined by me helping him because he is the needy one and I am the giver. We truly have a relationship that we define together in friendship. I have been involved in things in his life as he has been involved in mine.

I have discovered that ministry to the poor, needy, orphan, widow or alien isn’t just about one shot hand out or a random act of kindness……it is about discovering friendship and realizing the need of each other and the need for Jesus in our lives! I am becoming more convinced that the best container for the Kingdom of God to be manifested is through friendships.

I look in John 15, and one of Jesus’s last words with his disciples is that he calls him his friends, which somehow graduated them from his servants….interesting!

John 15: 12-15
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. you are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

In what ways does friendship with Jesus look different from being just a servant?

Duane Norleen
Missional Community, Calgary

~ by blueporch on October 12, 2010.

One Response to “It was love at first sight”

  1. Duane…. i love how you have captured the heart of the gospel…. it is about sharing who you are and living life with people… not selling something…

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