I really think that sometimes as ambassadors for Christ we stand just outside doorways, believing those doors to be shut when in fact God can open them. I think sometimes we think there is a closed door where there is no door at all! We are so busy trying to be right and politically correct that we imagine restrictions that do not exist. In the workplace we are employees and we have work to do. We are also people and having genuine relationships and genuine conversations is permissible.
this is where I give a small Fair Trade gift and a Christian card to expectant parents. The card offers my congratulation and prayers. It also contains a Bible verse. The parent-to-be in each instance so far has been very grateful and they have expressed their thanks for the love and kindness of this very simple act. Their thanks for my prayer is a very powerful spiritual milestone. In most cases these people are from cultural backgrounds which are primarily non-Christian, so their acceptance of Christian prayer for their baby is a very significant thing.
because of the babies ministry people have the general idea that I care about children and their parents and families in general (which is absolutely true!!) and so people also share their concerns about their children, family matters, ageing parents, family members in hospital and all kinds of things. I mainly listen. I share any observations, such as how wonderful it is that their family has such a caring person in their family and how amazing it is that they manage to go about their work with such a burden in their heart. I offer to pray for them and their family. I follow up from time to time to ask how things are going. Yesterday a colleague was “mysteriously” absent from work. I say “mysteriously” because members of his team seemed to have not even noticed he wasn’t there that day (at 3 in the afternoon) but even as they were saying they didn’t know where he was, he was emailing me updates about his little boy, who was in hospital for three procedures in one day (one of these a life-saving procedure). I enjoyed the privilege of knowing months in advance that surgery was going to happen, days of notice to pray on the day of the operation once it was booked, and then the joy of knowing the child was OK. Some people at work do not even know this child exists.
My current work is with a client, designing processes. I go every Thursday morning to a beautiful location very near their building to pray for the project teams and for all staff impacted by the project (approximately 800 people). The Holy Spirit led me to extend an invitation to our client via the Project Manager. They were touched. Really touched! They are going to share that invitation with members of the project team so anyone who wants to join me in prayer can do so.
I’ve been on the road for about 5-6 weeks this time around, returning home on weekends then flying again. At this stage it seems likely to continue for another 4-6 months with an occasional week based at home or our Sydney office. Interestingly, some unexpected relationships have started to spring up with the motel staff. The waitress who has been studying in the same field of work as me. The bar tender who notices me sitting on the lounges reading the Bible. The housekeeping staff (who I only see occasionally) who ask not only about my work but also have an opportunity to observe my Bible study stuff and the lovely drawings my daughter sends with me so feel less homesick. Even workplace relationship prompts by the Holy Spirit are plentiful … little hints to pause for just a minute in process mapping to pick up on personal details like a love of chocolate or cars (two favourites of my own!) … why would someone mention chocolate or McLarens in the middle of a business process? Why is it important to follow up with a sample of my favourite chocolate or an article about a new model of car? I don’t know. God knows. He does. So I just try to still my own agenda and listen to him. Sometimes the reason is immediately obvious – a chink in an otherwise rock-solid armour, leading to a conversation, leading to an opportunity to pray. Sometimes the reason is not at all known to me. Not yet.
None of this run to a program or formula. All I know is I love the journey and God is full of creative ways to enable me to share his love and witness to his goodness and faithfulness. I only have to stroll along the road holding his hand and all is well.
First and foremost, I'm a Christian living in a real and positive personal relationship with God. Through serving Him, reading the Bible and praying I grow to know Him more every day. Partnering with God is humbling, exciting, fun and serious business all at once!