I thought it was just a piano lesson. Taking my daughter to a seventy-something year olds house.
I heard she was good. Most important, I heard she was cheap.
We go each week. She sits; patiently, kindly, lovingly teaching my six-year old, who is wide eyed, eager to learn.
Daughter plunks on each key. Wrinkled hands sitting beside her. Teacher whispering encouragement. Cheering her on. Challenging her to play Christian songs as she sings.
Little did I know, I was learning too. There, in the living room, after each lessons, I would always stay too long. Teacher sharing testimonies constantly, like how she came to Christ, after revival swept through her small town.
She was just a child, but followed Him daily since.
They had been church planters, for decades. She had fruit in her life, not only from what she said, but by her quiet way, the grace she showed me, as I looked for my song, the song that assured me I had a place in the body of Christ.
Some of the greatest book I read about faith, were borrowed from her house. I knew she prayed for me because every time I was there, something pressed, prodded, drove me to ask about God. Asking questions like, “How she had kept the faith through a life lived much harder than the microwave, cell phone, computer age I lived in?”
How did she do it? How did she embody the fruits of the Spirit, when I struggled to get by?
Little did I know, I was being discipled.
I didn’t have to sit in Starbucks, with a Bible and pages of notes, trying so hard to do right…not wrong. All I had to do was listen. And open myself up to someone I trusted. Someone who had experiences, I didn’t.
After all, it is through relationship, that we are discipled, most effectively, solely by love.
And I am finding the older I get, the best discipleship stems from simple fellowship, the “walking along-side” companionship with those we see daily, weekly, often.
We can disciple at soccer fields, barbeques, by listening to a neighbor, serving others, even through piano lessons.
It doesn’t matter the vehicle, it is the direction of the conversation that matters.
Discipleship simply requires Christ-pointing, through the daily conversations we have with those God puts in front of us.
Yes, we can meet at Starbucks, rigidly press our brothers and sisters to engage in hard core study. We all need, iron sharpening iron.
But, what if we also took advantage of those non-believers God puts before us. What if we prayed for, and drew them into conversations that drifted naturally to Jesus, salvation, hope, redemption?
What if, like in business, all fruit comes out of the connection we have with people? Discipleship harmonizing together, perfectly with those personal relationships we already have?
And I hear them play. Still. The six and seventy-six year old. One. Together. In a duet made just for them. Many generations distant. Many lessons still to be learned, taught, caught by the child from her teacher.
Still, as I listen. I hear. Not only the keys, but the Christ-glow from a lady who has lived well the testimony of a true believer. The kind not arrogantly condemning a world to Jesus. But, a meek one. A gentle one. One who love shines clearly from, to others.
It is by this love, we are all drawn nearer to the Father. Pulled into His heart. Pulled toward one another. And I want more….
That is discipleship.
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented twelve children; ten foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world so desperate for the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women's. Jen continues to cling to faith that the local church is God's vehicle to reach the nations. You can find Jen writing about faith and challenging her readers at her blog,Rich Faith Rising. As well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Also, on facebook.
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