It’s been more than four years since I last met with Beverlee in her living room over a cup of steaming Lady Grey tea and chatted about life, ministry, and relationships. She invested in me, a barely-one-year-into-marriage new seminary graduate beginning to counsel and serve on staff with a church plant. She was an older woman with decades of experience in ministry, including overseas missions and full-time campus ministry. She was not strong during those two years we met weekly. I did not know it, but she might have: those were the last two years of her life, and she suffered from complications of diabetes that often robbed her of sleep and forced her to be homebound.
Yet she taught me more about mentoring, discipleship, gospel-centered friendship than almost anyone else in my adult life so far. Her legacy of gracious, selfless love and care for others even in the midst of her own pain lives on while she lives in glory. I hope to continue that legacy by sharing with you some of what she taught me.
1. Gospel mentoring flows out of weakness, not strength.
She was physically weak for most of the two years that we met together. She easily could have complained and focused on her own pain and ailments, seeking my comfort and prayers. I certainly did pray for this dear woman and seek to comfort her, but it was not because of her complaints. The pain was written on her face, and yet she repeatedly asked me how I was doing; what she could be praying about; and entered into what seemed like my petty struggles (in comparison).
[read the rest over at The Gospel Coalition today]
For another article on mentoring I wrote: “When Mentoring Exposes Your Idol of Being Needed.”