The Power of Invitation
by Denise Fair
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” Matthew 9: 37-38
Soggy mud cupped around my bent knees. Warm rays of sunshine kissed the crown of my head. My fingers scratched around in the dirt as my preschool son was swinging blissfully on the swing set behind me. An energetic one year had given way to much needed sleep in his crib. It was a perfect September afternoon.
As I pulled dwindling summer flowers from my garden to be replaced by fresh autumn varieties, my neighbor, Stacy sat beside me. A familiar scene played out as many times before. She was easy going and soft spoken with a million dollar smile that graced our regular backyard chats. Today’s chat ended with a promising offer. Stacy had invited the boys and me to her church that Thursday for a fun day of games, crafts, food and fun.
Moms Day Out.
Free babysitting for my rambunctious one and three year old boys.
Conversation with other women for me.
Thursday came and we excitedly followed Stacy and her daughter to their church. Our enthusiasm mimicked that of ravenous hyperactive boys awaiting pizza delivery. Similarly, there was great satisfaction at the end of day. Mom’s Day Out delivered exactly what we needed.
The second week was equally as rewarding as we crafted stylish covered journals made from composition notebooks. As we were cleaning up, the leader of the group made an announcement. She was passing out thin paperback books as she proclaimed that next week we would start our Bible study with week one of this book on pursuing godliness.
There I was like someone on the beach turned to smile at family while a gigantic rolling wave womped me from behind, face planted in the sand.
It almost felt like a deal breaker. But the boys were having such a good time and I needed the break. I was growing to love these kind hearted women, too! I didn’t want to give it up. But, I didn’t even own a Bible!
As we strapped into the car I found my resolve hiding behind uncertainty and insecurity. I pushed them aside and my resolve and I turned into the nearest Christian book store on the way home. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right!
An hour later, two boys napping soundly, I sat with book and Bible on my lap and “Bible friendly highlighters” by my side…the clerk said they were an absolute necessity. As I opened those pages God’s Spirit washed over me. I cried buckets that day. I called my friend and she led me in prayer. I became a new creation that day!
I know in hindsight many seeds were planted throughout my life. The Christmas Eve services that were occasionally attended. Summer Bible schools Mom made us go to because we got on her last nerve.
Many times these seeds were watered by the prayers of God’s faithful servants.
The harvest came after one simple, powerful invitation.