The Broken Way Week 5 — Embracing Inconvenience

what if you are the good thing

Here we are in week five of The Broken Way OBS!

Have you ever needed someone to just be with you, welcome you in, be a friend, and felt that the world was too busy, or didn’t care, or walked by without notice? That’s the way selfishness wires us — too busy, too focused on our own thing, or maybe too scared to stop, look, listen, care, invite…

Have you ever stood at your doorstep and wondered what was going on behind the other apartment doors in the building, or all the doors down the cul-de-sac? Joy. Pain. Unplanned pregnancy. New school nervousness. Loneliness. A troubled marriage. A promotion celebration. Behind every door is a story. Several stories. Stories full of joys and also full of brokenness.

Have you ever been brave enough to swallow the awkwardness and knock?

Our presence is the ultimate gift. ~ Ann

This week we’re in The Broken Way session five, “Embracing Inconvenience”.

Love one another. — John 13:34

Scripture Readings This Week

  • Luke 14:12-14
  • Luke 10:29-37
  • Luke 6:38

This week for the study you will:

  1. Watch the video for Session 5 – either on DVD or right here on FaithGateway and take notes in The Broken Way Study Guide (pages 85-89).
  2. If you’re meeting with a small group, go through the “Talk About It” section (pages 90-94). These are also our questions for our Thursday online chats.
  3. For your personal study, go through the Between Sessions study questions in The Broken Way Study Guide (pages 95-103). This week we’re going to continue the practice #bethegift.
  4. Recommended (but optional) reading for this week: In preparation for session 5, read chapters 16-18 in The Broken Way – the hardcover book, not study guide.
  5. Join us on Thursday, February 23rd (optional) at 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. EST for a live chat to discuss this week’s Session 5 “Talk About It” questions right here: http://www.faithgateway.com/broken-way-study/?live

Love Is Inconvenient

My selfish, sin-bent, inward-turning heart doesn’t want to be inconvenienced. The truth of that is embarrassing and humbling.

I’d rather not stop and listen to my lonely neighbor’s long story. And while the flimsy excuse is that my groceries are getting warm on my porch when she stops to talk, the truth is that I don’t want to hear about her health issues again. I don’t want to hear more about her daughter’s family who lives 2,000 miles away with her only grandchild whom she only gets to see at Christmas. I don’t want to listen to her go on about wishing she could get to Bible study but with her bad hip and all…

I can hear the need, the unasked requests, the hope to be asked in for a cup of tea. But, I don’t want to be a friend right now when I have stuff to do.

And, then, with embarrassment blooming in my chest, I watch in her eyes… the awful dawning of recognition that I just want to get away and on with my day. The horrible awareness that I see her, and hear her, and don’t care.

Oh, Lord, break my broken heart until it looks like Yours!

Have you ever been there? Have you ever walked away when you knew someone needed to be loved by the Body of Christ? Have you ever lacked in love and not been willing to be inconvenienced?

I’m shamefaced to say that I have.

Love is the willingness to be inconvenienced and interrupted… broken into… ~ Ann

My dad, my Poppy, died suddenly a year and a half ago. Mama and I walked out of the hospital hand-in-hand in the middle of the night without his strong presence. Without him. We left his body there and drove home because that’s what you have to do. You have to go home. And go on. Bereft.

In the dark hours that followed our home slowly filled with loved ones, family, neighbors, and friends. They brought coffee. They brought food. They brought flowers in while the sun rose, prayers, and hands to hold. We sat around tables talking, reminiscing, praying, and laughing, too, for hours. All day. And the next. And the next.

I didn’t know the holy space in the grieving days until people walked through my door.

Loss is always transformative. ~ Ann

I learned in those mourning days that the beauty and presence of Jesus Himself can walk in your door when a neighbor or friend boldly knocks bearing a casserole and a hug — and I’ll never be the same.

A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity. — Proverbs 17:17

Jesus changed lives with His presence. It wasn’t the arrogant, the wise, the rich, the important, and the busy who were drawn to Him; it was the grieving, the outcast, the poor, the disenfranchised, the lonely, the weak, the lame… the broken. And, with the command to love one another, He gave us such a holy gift — the gift of opening a door and being there for people who need His love.

We get to be a part of giving hope, and life, and shared meals, and help, and love! How incredible is that?!

My brother always says, “Love goes to graduations, weddings, funerals, and buys lemonade from kids hawking it on corner stands.”

Love goes to the police station with the co-worker who is picking up his wayward teen.

Love babysits for the new mom and sends her out for a cup of coffee and a few hours of quiet.

Love drops by the house of the friend who lost his job with a couple of sandwiches and iced tea.

Love sits with the widow and looks at old photos and listens to old stories.

Love reaches out to the new family at church.

Love mows the lawn of the neighbor recovering from a double mastectomy.

Love goes to the hospital.

Love brings dinner.

Love shows up.

Life, and bad surprises, and loss, and depression, and death are inconvenient, so love must be willing to be inconvenienced.

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. — Matthew 5:3

I’m not going to die until I’ve given away everything in my bucket… All the love, all the graces, all the secret happiness stories. Hear me — my bucket is going to be empty! ~ Elizabeth 

Me, too. After my Poppy went to be with Jesus, I made a commitment — to love actively, to be brave enough to knock, to bring dinner, to show up when love needs to walk through the door. I want an empty bucket and a legacy of love left in my wake. How about you?

Then He turned to the host. “The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be — and experience — a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned — oh, how it will be returned! — at the resurrection of God’s people. — Luke 14:12-14 MSG

Prayer for the Week

Jesus, thank You for showing us how to love, how to give love, how to be about others and for others. Help us see those who need love. Help us to care when we don’t care and would rather rush through our day. Help us to stop and listen to the Holy Spirit and to show Your love. Jesus, remind us to show up and knock. Thank You for those who have shown us Your love, who have knocked on our doors, and who have invited us in when we needed a friend, when we have been broken. Thank You for loving us, Jesus! We love You! Amen.

Let’s Chat

Where is it hardest for you to step outside your comfort zone to #bethegift? What is one way this week you want to not be afraid of brokenness and inconvenience? Join the conversation on our blog!

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Laurie McClure

Laurie is a Jesus apprentice, a single mama of five (three homegrown, one Kentuckian, and one Ethiopian), a writer, beach lover, and is addicted to radical grace, Perrier, and yoga pants. Here at FaithGateway she is the editor, the leader of Faith.Full, our women's community, and curator of Devotionals Daily.

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