February 24, 2012
I prayed, God, please, use my life to help that little girl.
Ever since, I've been on alert, waiting. I was asked to go to India to speak at a women's conference, but the invitation (and the event) fell through. I've been called by God to foreign missions before, and when he calls, I go. This opportunity wasn't God's call. The timing wasn't right.
And then I met Navjot.
Navjot Bajwa caught my eye on Twitter as he was lamenting the content of his timeline (solely business advice + self-affirming quotations). His tweet was a farewell message. In response I smiled, waved, and wrote back, "Hey, what about me?"
I use Twitter to share verses from my daily bible study, and to promote authors who write for Jesus. I introduced Nav to some of my wonderful tweeps, hoping to get him to stay (which he did), and we all got to be friends. The two of us—Nav and I—are BFFs. We write back and forth via e-mail, sharing stories of our lives. He asks questions about Jesus, and I do my best to answer them.
On the surface we couldn't be more different, but we actually have a lot in common. Navjot is a 27 year old Sikh living in Mumbai, and I am a 45 year old Savannah suburbanite. Our vantage points are different, but we are both interested in Jesus. (In my case, this is a massive understatement. In his case, since Christians are persecuted in India, it's a dangerous one!) We also both like to write. I administer a blog for Christian writers. So, I enlist him to write essays for the blog.
Nav is seeking, spiritually. He looks at life, doesn't like what he sees, and hopes for something better. He wants to go farther in his faith. I keep inviting him to write because, as a professor, I can't help myself. The assignments are good for him, for our friendship, and for the blog's readership. In the editing process, as we go back and forth, we get to know one another better. I love editing N's essays.
Navjot has shown me how we (the church) are perceived by people in his culture. He challenges my thinking, and gives me plenty of opportunities to share the gospel, which is --> We are all imperfect sinners deserving of death, and God, our creator, is holy. He cannot tolerate sin, so he sent his Son, Jesus, to fix everything. Jesus, who never sinned, suffered and died for all of us, rising three days later, conquering sin and death. His substitutionary death paid the price for sin, once and for all. None of us can earn God's grace, but it is free for anyone who will accept Jesus' sacrifice. Jesus reunites believers to God, eternally.
I've told Navjot many times, if there is anything good in me, it comes from Jesus Christ.
Navjot has taught me a lot about Sikhism, the plight of his people, and, in his current post, about forgiveness. I am humbled when I read his writing, no matter the topic. Navjot has a brilliant mind, an interesting perspective on life, and a generous, compassionate, courageous heart. His friendship is a treasure. Perhaps meeting him is a partial answer to my prayer that God will somehow use my life to help the girl in the yellow dress, who represents forgotten and neglected children everywhere. Maybe Navjot is the answer. I suspect God has huge plans for his life. My BFF certainly has a desire to affect positive social change. Perhaps my prayers for Navjot and others in India, along with financial giving to missions through our church, will be the extent of my personal involvement with the Indian people. Or perhaps this budding friendship is only the first piece in a larger puzzle. Either way, I couldn't be happier.
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul. ~ Proverbs 27:9b, The Message