In My Every Midnight.

((from Natalie))

I have a friend who affectionately refers to herself as my stalker.  Her persistence to “win” my friendship years ago was shameless.  She posted up at the espresso bar every weekday morning and chatted it up with me while I made her mocha.  She was very demanding particular about how she liked that mocha, and she never really tipped (two qualities that would normally make for an annoying customer.)  But I liked her because she loved like Jesus; she oozed genuine care and concern for those around her. I accepted her desperation invitation for friendship for those reasons and… well, because she was persistent.

Jesus spoke often in parables to use ordinary stories to point us to Heavenly realities.  Today we look at the Parable of the Neighbor at Midnight.

It’s a short parable, so I’m going to go ahead and include much of it here:

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.” Luke 11:5-10

 The Parable of the Neighbor at Midnight, at first glance is about sharing bread with a neighbor. Some suggest that it is intended to demonstrate the need to “pray without ceasing.” But I see a story about audacious friendship, and a reflection of the type of friendship Jesus wants to have with us.

Why is the neighbor banging on the door in the middle of the night?  He’s there because he wants to feed his friend! He hasn’t woken his neighbor out of selfish want or his own need.  He wants to show hospitality, to feed his pal, a weary traveler. Hope is hard you guys.  We get tired and hungry on the long journey.  Sometimes we need a place to stop, and rest, get a bite to eat.  That’s why we need to the help of friends!

Friends who welcome us at all hours in any weary state?
(P.S. Do you know Jesus does that for you?)

Friends who have the audacity to pursue us with “shameless persistence”
(P.S.  Do you know Jesus does that for you?)

Friends who knock, and knock…. and knock.
(P.S. Do you know Jesus does that for you?)

Friends who, will step in and connect you to someone who can meet your needs?
(P.S. Do you know Jesus does that for you?)

Jesus had the audacity to give His whole self in pursuit of you.  He pleads on our behalf at our midnight.  He runs to awaken the Lord, to bring our needs to His attention.  The love of Jesus is persistent. It’s audacious.

Later in Luke, the parable goes on to say:

“I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10

Hopers, in practical application, let’s love our friends like Jesus loves them.  Let’s pray without ceasing for their hopes today.  Let’s petition the Lord and offer them hospitality and nourishment.  And let’s also stop on our own journeys be vulnerable with a friend, showing them our own needs so that they may do the same for us.  The love of persistent friendship, it resonates, it gets His attention.

I was right when I thought I saw love like Jesus’ in my mocha-obsessed aficionado coffee shop customer.  I know this because she has indeed loved me like Jesus.  Through friendship, she has taken on my needs as her own pursuits.  She has prayerfully pleaded for God’s mercy and provision in my life, in my every midnight.  I’m so grateful she stalked pursued my heart with such persistence.  She has made hope a little less hard.

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