They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” John 4:42 NIV
Tears streamed down her face. “I just don’t know what to do about my marriage.”
Before I could answer, the enemy swooped in to remind me of my status as the Samaritan Woman. I felt helpless to offer any substantial advice to my friend who was tenuously clinging to her marriage.
The words “FAILURE” and “SOUP SANDWICH” flashed in my mind.
Quietly, I answered, “I know. I gotta tell you. I’m not an expert. In fact, I’m the biggest failure at marriage there is…”
Picture that “sandwich”: two pieces of bread, maybe, lettuce falling off, meat on the floor where the dog is moving in to eat it, the rest of the contents falling into the soup bowl beneath it while you are desperately trying to hold onto it and stuff it in your mouth.
That was the picture of my attempts at marriage. I had really made a mess in that area and felt the least qualified to help anyone.
However, God in His sovereignty and in His humor thought otherwise.
I continued, “…what I can share is that if it weren’t for Jesus, I would be just as unsuccessful this time as the last two. Sweetie, the best advice I have for you is to do what I did. Open your Bible, pray and let Him lead you through what to do and how to do it. He is good. He will show you just like He showed me. ”
Like the Samaritan Woman, we all have woes to tell, sufferings we have endured, and messes we have made. However God makes all things new. He takes ashes and turns them to beauty. He uses all things (bad and good) to shape us to work His purposes through us.
Most importantly, we can praise God who provided Jesus to make a way. Our great compassionate God comforts us in our times of trouble so that we can comfort others with the same comfort we have received. In other words, we are blessed to be a blessing. Try walking beside a hurting friend, listening, and when the time is right, sharing your story and how God changed the ending.
Translation: Mentoring isn’t about having all the answers. It’s about showing other soup sandwich eaters where the ladle is.
I can do that. How about you?
Have you felt a tug at your heart to meet with a hurting friend for coffee?
Step 1) Recklessly abandon all insecurities.
Step 2) Boldly pray and ask God for listening ears and His words.
Step 3) Enjoy a cup of joe and a deeper relationship with Jesus and your friend.
Lord, Let us always remember how far Your Amazing Grace dove into our well of shame to rescue us. Let us tell every person of Your Great Grace and Mercy. Let us share our friend’s burdens because of how far You reached to save us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.