It's easy to say and hard to do. "If you're going to really engage people, you have to be willing to get messy" is easy for me to spout off and sound like a great minister of the Gospel, but to actually step into people's filth is a completely different story.
Steven and I have made it our habit to have a running list of people we pray for every night before we go to bed. There are some that we pray would find a true relationship with Jesus, others we pray that the the Lord would ignite a fire that has grown dim and then there are our missionaries that we love and pray that the Lord would walk along side them during difficult and dark times.
Something unexpected seems to happen when we pray, God moves. You're thinking: Isn't that what you were asking him to do? YES... and no. YES, we're asking him to move, but NO I don't like how uncomfortable he makes ME stick my hands in their filth.
My husband loves dirt... and I mean actual dirt. He has no problem getting down and dirty to help other people out. He'll be the first one under the hood of a car and the last one to leave when a mess is left. One day on the way to the airport, Steven saw a woman stranded on the side of the road. We were already late, but that did not bother him. His first concern was that this woman was ok. He almost missed his flight. This is Steven.
Through the people we pray for, we have gotten many opportunities to get dirty and to invest into the lives of others. It has been painful to love people through their self-destructing habits, but my husband has taught me something. Speak truth, even when it hurts. It's like scrubbing an infected wound - healing cannot happen if soap and elbow grease isn't applied. Steven's heart for the Gospel and making Jesus knows in dark places in nothing short of admirable. He listens when people need to be heard but speaks truth when it needs to be spoken all so that Christ would be glorified.
Thank you Lord for giving me a man who loves and follows after you, even when it's messy.