Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
The day started out pretty much like other days in the ministry. I came in, started the coffee for our department and went to my desk and started working. My task of late is to write a lot of emails and note cards to our sponsors and donors for their donations during the Christmas season. Even though my emails and note cards say pretty much the same thing, God seems to use them in our donors lives. In my correspondences, I thank the donors for their gifts and let them know we appreciate them. Then I invite them to contact me if they have any questions or prayer requests. The responses I get from these little emails and notes have become a sub ministry for me. When I started this process of writing to donors, I was surprised of the numbers of responses I receive. Some just write back and say thank you for writing them, others have questions but most of them have some kind of a prayer request. I always make it a point to respond to the donor and assure them I will be praying. I don’t just pray once and forget the request. I put them on a running list and pray as often as I can. So while the process may seem routine, what our Lord does with these notes is sometimes quite amazing. I’d like to tell you about one response I received the other day.
This particular day, I decided I was going to spend a lot of my day just doing this one project. So I wrote a lot of emails and notes that day and started to receive responses during the day. One response was pretty long and had several prayer requests on it. I took a break when I saw it and decide to read it. The person who responded had several prayer requests for different people in their family. Some of the requests were pretty deep and personal. This is not the first time this has happened, and I always take special care of these requests, because I figure if the person would write such personal requests, it is obviously important to them. And thus, it becomes important to me.
But this one ended a little differently. When I got down to the last paragraph of the email, I read this: So there you have it – pretty personal for a total stranger, but I trust you do desire prayer requests when you ask, and that God will use this correspondence for His purposes. If it’s you that writes a blog for Stonepoint Church, I think you can at least relate to some of these requests. Thank you! When I read this last part I figured the person must have some kind of a WillsPoint/Stonepoint connection. They were from a state up north. As a matter of fact, a Yankee state.
So I decided to write back and ask the person about this possible connection. They responded but the response surprised me a bit. They said: As far as a Stonepoint connection, I have none. Just before I pressed send on my email, I hesitated and so decided to do a search of your name 🙂 Reading the first post I came to encouraged me to go ahead and send my email. I thought, “well, this is a first!” I couldn’t imagine I would even be on the internet. But when I checked later, there I was. I had to search a bit to find me, but eventually I did. Most of the information was about a Bob Mayo who was a musician back in the day who is now dead. So I knew that wasn’t me. But nonetheless, I found some of my Facebook posts. I still don’t know what they are doing there. I was quite shocked, actually, but this whole event caused me to think about some things for myself and maybe for all of us at Stonepoint.
First, I was struck by the courage of this person to write these requests to me, a perfect stranger. Then it struck me that people put a lot of trust in me with their requests. It made me realize that I have to treat these requests with the utmost respect.
I also thought how difficult it is to share what is really going on in one’s life. From my own experience, I have found it is difficult to “put yourself out there” and let people know what is really going on. I must admit, blog writing for Stonepoint brought that to a whole new level for me. I even asked the pastors once if I was making them too personal. They basically said no, that it made the posts more real to life. It seems to me that we Christians could use a little transparency in our lives. Transparency does not come easy and it certainly takes time. I believe that in order to be a true “community” of Christians it needs to happen. God can change us; He can make us brave like my friend with the prayer requests. He can soften our hearts and give us extreme love for others. But he won’t force us. we have to be willing to humble and submit ourselves totally to Him. 98% won’t do. God wants all of us. Thank you for your time. May God bless you!!