This week, I asked Danielle Wilson to share her experience of true friendship with Lori C., a dear sister at Crossway. Lori’s example of love for the Body of Christ is compelling.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:12-17)
To say that my life is richly blessed by knowing Lori is a bit of an understatement. Have you ever a friendship that, when you tried to figure out how they put up with you, you’ve been left a bit baffled? That has been my experience with Lori, as God has used her time and time again to show me His love for me, and His love for His creation—whether they’re easy to love and serve or not.
There is no shortage of ways that God has used Lori to impact my life, but one of the greatest is the way He has uniquely gifted her to love those around her. Lori has a soft heart for people. She is compassionate with those that are suffering. She is patient and humble with those that see Christ in her and respond with hostility, as Christ warned us the world would do. Lori doesn’t just try to be kind, she is kind. That is the person He has created her to be. Lori also desires to trust Him. I see a desire in her to please God in all things and all seasons, and to have faith that He has placed her in that situation for a reason. It isn’t that Lori doesn’t struggle or have doubts, but that she responds in those times by remembering that He is faithful. It permeates everything about her.
If you know Lori and have spent any amount of time with her, the other gift you will experience is to be encouraged and pointed towards grace. It is a remarkable thing to have someone come along side you, even in the midst of her own trials. Many times she has helped me unpack a certain struggle or fear, pointed out the manacles of condemnation, and shown me the road to repentance and the peace of God’s love for me. Because God has given her a sensitivity to listen and understand those she interacts with, I’ve been blessed to have a friend that knows me, knows my struggles and temptations, and can better point me to the Cross. As she loves to give, so also is Lori willing to receive when someone speaks in to her life.
As I’ve so often heard her say, Lori’s response to all of this would be that it’s all to the glory of God, and by His grace alone. In that mysterious part of God and the working of His Holy Spirit, there wouldn’t be fruit in our lives without His grace for us to respond to it, and yet we also have a part in responding. So it is with those two things in mind that I would commend Lori for being pliable and willing, and thank God for the special work He has done in her, all to His glory and for our benefit.