The Divine Work of Freedom



I can tell you that my faith falls short sometimes. That my prayers come out weak and full of disclaimers.

I can tell you that I don’t always believe in miracles.

I can tell you that I selfishly want prayers to be answered so my own journey can be strengthened.

I can tell you that some of my friends are living in hard circumstances. Some of them work in what is often referred to as The Oldest Profession. I can tell you my prayers for them are often stunted. That my belief in all-things-made-new often wavers.

I have one friend so dear to my heart, she is like a sister. I have often begged for mountains to move on her behalf, but my faith is not always strong. There were debts to be paid. There was money to be saved. Freedom felt far away.

I can tell you in the midst of unanswered prayers, and unlikely circumstances, my friend and I, our kindred hearts connected.

I can tell you one thing that sometimes is forgotten but shouldn’t be, and that is:

A woman is a woman, no matter her work.

And us women, we need one another.

In navigating the story of another, there are many things I can’t tell you, but there are some things I can.

My friend is kind. It is something that stands out to me about her. The way she greets those in shops and cafes and restaurants. The way she lavishes her friends with gifts and good food and hospitality. Being kind can be so underrated. It can get lost, in all the other words and labels we have floating out there. In the midst of words that seem a bit more adventurous, those that sound a bit more brave, and a bit more challenging, kind can seem like a silly thing to strive for. But my friend has made me want to cultivate kindness.

I have needed my friend. I have needed her smile, and encouragement, her comfort and her kindness.

And in the midst of her kindness, in the midst of our friendship, and in the midst of unanswered prayers—a miracle occurred. Debts were paid, money was saved, and freedom from that life came.

The moment I became aware, we were standing side-by-side in church, our voices lifted in song, and I realized I was trembling.

I had almost missed the miracle, it came so slowly, in the way the night sky lightens and dawn breaks, and before we realized it, darkness became light.

Immanuel. God with us.

God at work in us. God ministering to us. 

My friend and I, in that Sunday service, we were standing in a miracle. Straddling this world and the next. Holy ground, broken open for us to see. There were others in the room, co-labourers, they knew of the miracle too. They were crying. Their hands also shook in awe of the divine work of freedom. For all the rest it may have just been a normal Sunday. But for us, it was heaven meeting earth. God’s grace made known through kindness. Through friendship. Through simple steps that led us to the miraculous.

That holy tremble of redemption’s hand at work.

The greatest gift I could ask for this Christmas.


Image credit: William Murphy