Downtown Run Group! Our motto is "Run inspired" and the group is made up of such wonderful people I don't even have to go run to be inspired! This morning I sat having coffee with one of the gals, just listening to what was on her heart and mind as we discussed the subject of grace and how God connects people for His glory. The story I share here is her's, not mine, but she wouldn't want me to mention her name. If I get permission someday, I will come back and tell you.
She told of a Saturday morning earlier this summer when she chose to walk with a friend in her neighborhood rather than come downtown to meet the rest of us. I believe it was a God appointment she was keeping that day as she walked and talked with one of the ladies from our church family. With her gentle, persistent encouragement they walked and walked some more, completing 15 laps when the friend wanted to quit at 11 or 12. To keep their minds off how much distance was left to cover that hot summer day, God provided a distraction. A very small sparrow was doggedly attempting to persuade a very large lurking hawk to fly away from what probably was a nearby nest of baby sparrows. The hawk was ready to do what hawks do-steal, kill, and destroy precious, young baby birds.
My friend told her friend, "Watch! Look how little that sparrow is, but he is not giving up! He just keeps pecking and bothering and pecking some more to get that hawk to go away! It's like with you and the criticism and discouragement you've been getting from your family. Hang in there! You may feel small, but keep fighting back! They'll see your determination and leave you alone!"
About that time another little sparrow came out to join the first. Together they swooped, pecked, and persisted in their determined assault and sure enough, the hawk flew away! "Woo-hoo! High fives! Would you look at that!"
Isn't it that way with community? There's an evil one lurking seeking to steal, kill, and destroy precious souls we love or maybe our own. (John 10:10) We do our best to fight back, though we seem very small and unequal to the task. "My grace is sufficient for you," assures our Lord. We turn and look and suddenly we notice another small sparrow is by our side, gently encouraging us to keep going just one more lap or keep pecking, and don't give up! Together, in grace, we complete our course and for awhile, the evil one goes away.
On Monday, September 16, my favorite devotional website, (in)courage launches another season of community groups meant to connect and encourage women in whatever season of life they might find themselves in. It is my privilege to be a co-leader of one of those groups where we will be encouraging moms of adult children. Ladies, you will find a long list of groups that have formed to give you a place to belong and connect with other women.There are more than sixty groups to choose from like groups for writers, fitness enthusiasts, single moms, moms of teens, caregivers, teachers, wives, etc. Log on early Monday morning for the best chance to join your first choice community group. By His grace, may God bless you with fellow sparrows!