"Message me. Emergency."
"A lot of shit."
I received this message from a long time friend this evening at 8:28pm. I got home just 45 minutes earlier after a long day of meetings and then a team training for the volunteer group that will be serving alongside us all week.
I don't have a 9-5 job... Heck, and to call it a job is only partially correct at that.
I am at a place where I am caring for people who are trying so hard to do well. Putting all of their eggs in the basket and running as hard and as fast as they can towards a place that they can be successful.
Some days are a shout from the rooftops awesomeness.
Other days to the lowest pit possibly imaginable.
My place in this is to be, for my friends, a constant presence, forever a place of safety and love. Nonjudgemental love.
But as nice and kosher as that is to say or write, it is hard.
So hard to know when to move, act, wait. When to ask the right questions, or when to ask questions at all, opposed to just acting on faith.
To top this all off, it's not me just acting in a vacuum, alone.
I do life alongside my wife. For better or worse. We make decisions together.
Tonight that was a messy conversation. One I actually have to fix either when I go to bed or at first talk tomorrow.
My wife is analytical, to the point, facts type of person by default.
Me, well, I much more operate in the passion, emotional side of things.
"My friend is in need, he is in trouble, he needs help."
I put extra emphasis and try to live my life with open hands.
What I receive I give.
With a mindset like it says in James 2:16: And you say, "Goodbye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well" - but you then don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
I tell my wife, she asks questions, I respond poorly, accusing her of not having compassion... when she completely does. In so many ways.
Instead, she is actually thinking through to the solution, vs. acting and then asking questions.
Thus I have to fix things with her before we move forward.
(I just went and apologized for how rude I was.)
* I started writing as a journal. At the core, that's what all these stories are - a place for me to think through and write out everything that I am processing and what God is teaching me as I strive to live a vulnerable life.
I didn't know what the right answer was tonight, but in my gut, my heart, deep inside I know I couldn't sit on $300 in my bank account while my friend was in need, sitting alone, with no options, in an airport across the country.
So I acted - with the trust of my wife as well.
My friend will be back in NJ on Friday.
He is so worth a measly $300. He is worth my time. He is worth my emotions and tears that go into these daily decisions. He is worth it all.
Now I just need him to hear this, read this, know this, and hold onto it - especially on the hard days when good intentions lead to bad decisions.
Please pray that he leans into Jesus.
Please also honestly, pray for me and my wife as we are called to this weird, hard, and yet amazing place where every day there is an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and others.
I love you all! So much! Thank you for living life with me and my family.