12 Feb Intentional Relationships
To be an ezer naturally implies relationship. We invite, nurture, and partner with others. We do not ezer in isolation. Relationships require intentionality, particularly when we are engaging people outside our normal sphere of influence.
When Jesus invites others to himself he does so without pretense or conditions. Those who wish to follow him do not have to change before they have a relationship, but all are changed once they have a relationship.
One of the most remarkable aspects about Jesus’ invitations is that they are usually extended to those who would otherwise go unnoticed. Zaccheaus was in a tree, James and John were in a fishing boat, the woman was at the well was by herself in the middle of the day; all of these people were ordinary and unremarkable, yet Jesus noticed and invited each one.
He was not self-protective, wishing to be left alone or to keep his reputation untarnished.
He was not self-promoting, demanding that all attention be focused on him.
Instead, Jesus saw the needs of those around him and went out of his way to speak to the cheaters, the poor, the adulterers, and the liars.
Like Jesus, we too must be intentional and observant to notice the needs around us. Relationship requires work and sacrifice, but there is great reward. We are all surrounded by needs that can only be met by the work of the Holy Spirit through our unique giftings.
Extending an invitation to our culture may be as simple as a conversation with a cashier on a busy day or organizing a group of women to serve in an under-resourced school. There are many ways to ezer our world as women, but most require intentionality.
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)