Last week I went to the funeral of a wonderful godly lady called Grace. She was born in the 1920s and spent many years of her life serving the Lord in the Middle East.
In the late 1950s, Grace committed to praying daily for 10 people she knew to serve Jesus cross-culturally – one only a baby. In the early 1980s, that baby, now grown up, became the tenth of the group to commit to a life of cross-cultural mission. That baby was my dad – and Grace, my great aunt.
She was called home on the 27th August after a lifetime of serving the Lord, not least through her prayers. She persevered in prayer throughout her life, with a particular heart for God’s mission to the world. I’ve no doubt that my own interest in mission in the UK and overseas is in part due to her prayers.
Who could you pray for like that? Or could you also be the answer to someone else’s prayer?
“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:38)
She didn’t even know my name.
I was visiting a church and was browsing the bookstall after the meeting had ended. Having found what I wanted to buy, I realised I had no cash or cheque book on me. A woman overhead me say so.
“Let me buy it for you.”
I protested. I didn’t know this woman. The book cost fifty dollars. I started: “That’s very kind of you, but I couldn’t possibly—” when she cut me off.
“Are you a Christian?” she asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
Immediately she said: “So can’t a sister buy a book for her brother?” As she said this, she got out her cheque book and reached for a pen.
We had just met. I was a white British man in my mid-twenties; she was a middle-aged African American woman. Yet she instantly offered to buy me a fifty dollar book, because in Christ, I was her brother.
Sister, you will likely never read this; but one day, when we meet again, I will thank you for showing me so clearly what Jesus meant when he said: “By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another”.
Originally posted on February 29th, 2012. Cross-posted to Call to Family.