when you are afflicted

New Picture (2)

I see you there alone warming yourself by the fire outside the city gates.  I see your pain, hurt, and longing for one friend to accept you. One who will invite you inside the walls of community.

Is there any hurt like rejection?  Can anything compare to hearing laughter and joy of friends gathered, and all you can see is the wall that separates?

The pain is real and radiates down to your soul, because deep in your soul you were made for community.

It can feel at times like God does not see how much you are hurting.  Like God might have missed what is going on in your  life, but He sees.

Yes, He sees and He knows the whole story.

He has placed angels on your walls.  Angels who call out your name before the King of Kings, night and day. Angels encamped around you to save and protect you.

New Picture (3)

Jesus knows how it feels.  Wasn’t it the very ones he came to save who rejected Christ?  Wasn’t it the very ones for whom He healed their family and friends, who took him outside the city walls and killed him?

Blessed are you when people hate you,
 when they exclude you and insult you
 and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.

“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. (Matthew 6:22-23 NIV)

Is a wall so difficult for He who has overcome the world?  Is a campfire outside the city gates too far for His reach?

But perhaps it is not that we have been sent into exile, but we have been allowed to go into exile.

Perhaps, we have been sent to the very ones He dwells among.  We are sent to the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the ones in tattered clothing, the ones in prison, or the stranger needing a friend.

Annie Sullivan thought she was going to an isolated area to help a girl who could not speak or hear.  A young girl who was head strong and wounded, and in desperate need of help, to step into her isolation with hope – Someone who could reach into her darkness and bring her into community.

She went there never knowing that her one act of devotion would give hope to so many around the world.  Her love and devotion to Helen Keller, changed the world for others who were deaf and mute.  She gave them community and a voice.

Perhaps it is not that we must live outside the walls, but we are given the opportunity to step outside the walls to bring others into community.

“And if you will give yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in the darkness, and your gloom will become like midday.  And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.” (Isaiah 10-11)

 When we live where Christ dwells, we have fellowship with Him and a community of those who need us the most.

How do you see yourself building community where you are?

~~Diane Bailey {more of Diane’s words are found here}.

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Credit for pictures belongs to: New Picture (4)

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FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY

This week’s book give away goes to katinavaselopulos! Please send us an email at outsidethecitygate@gmail.com, with your address. The number was randomly picked with http://www.random.org/.

Now we’re off to the next book. Yay!

“After my divorce, I wore the robe of reproach for a long time. Underserved guilt, {and some} guilt I did deserve, depression, and shame–all of these were threads in my apparel. When a woman has the stigma of reproach on her, it is very difficult to come out from under it.” ~~Diane Bailey.

Diane shares herself in this book as an encouragement to others, based on her own experiences outside the city gate. Tammy@ifmeadowsspeak says, “Hear Diane’s heart as she is our biggest cheerleader, cheering us toward the Prize. Through her words found between these pages, a sweet-heart shines through as she continues ushering us into His Presence, knowing ultimately, this is also where we find healing.”

To Enter:

  1. Leave a Comment. If you already have this book, leave a comment anyway and if your name is drawn, we’ll send the book to whomever you choose.
  2. Share this with at least one other person in the world through any of these: Email, Facebook, Twitter, Email, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs, or In-Person 😉  {Consider this like a phone book for folks to look up our number and find us, if they’re so inclined.}
  3. We’ll draw a name and announce it next week. We’ll contact you privately for mailing information.
  4. Thanks! We look forward to hearing your stories.

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We’re glad you’re here! Let others know you are our neighbors. We want this trail to go both ways in finding eachother. In your post, link up with us so. Thanks, ya’ll!

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17 Comments on “when you are afflicted

  1. Simply beautiful, Diane. Loved every word. I’m remember those days of hurting and believing if there was a God, He surely didn’t see me. I know now He was always there. I get goosebumps thinking about the angels that were on my wall then and still are. Good words friend. Love your heart.

  2. I needed this today, Diane. It’s hard to live with an ache -loneliness is hard! I cry out to God to fill me and help me endure. I know this well. Thank you for this encouragement, and yes, God sees and He is always with us! I ask that He would help me find my community.

  3. Beautiful…when bruised and battered by those that are in the body of Christ, we stand for a while longing to be back inside…then by Grace, we realize that maybe being on the outside is “where it is”…comfort, peace, revelation, joy, wisdom and most of all encounters with our Creator…

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