Saturday, April 3, 2010

Trench warfare

A few of my buddies and I jumped in a van a few days ago and drove to Denver to surprise our mentor and friend, Rich Beach. He’s been battling cancer for over 15 years and we just wanted to spend some time encouraging and praying for him.

We left Branson thinking we would leave him with some gifts, hugs and prayers. Though we went to give him a blessing, we were the ones who were blessed.

As always, the time with Rich reminded us of what true discipleship is all about. Discipleship is not in a book, a lesson series, or a weekend retreat. True discipleship is in the trenches. It’s the life-on-life touch. It’s sometimes messy and unorganized. It’s a friend that needs you to be with them for an afternoon when your afternoon is reserved for you. It’s one step back and two steps forward. It’s usually inconvenient, but it’s real. It’s the choice to forgive and believe in a friend when everyone else has chosen to turn away. That’s what Rich taught us. He loved us when we were pretty unlovable. That’s the example he has lived out for us over the years.

It’s the genuine version of discipleship. It’s the Jesus method of discipleship. It’s the only valid and true method of discipleship. Mark 3:14 reads, “Jesus chose the 12 that He might be with them.” Jesus poured Himself into these 12 men (and many more). Simply put, He loved them by being with them. He went into their dirty, messy trench where they were and He met them there. He imparted to them what the Father had imparted to Him.

That’s what we’re charged to do with our friends, our enemies and our families. We’re to love and build and encourage. On the days when we feel like being untouchable, we make the choice to reach out and touch. This Easter season we’re reminded that God chose to touch us through His grace via His crucified and risen Son.

The visit with Rich and the traveling with my friends Bruce, Ward, Terry and Kris opened my eyes again to something. I realized again that when I reach out to touch, I am the one touched by the Lord. And when I sense His presence, life is always awesome!

Thank you Rich for being our hero.©

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