The length of the hallway leading to the conference room is lined with banners, books, and booths. Both sides of the narrow corridor form a living-breathing mural of ministries. They lean over their tables, clasp our hands, and invite us into friendship.
Friendship with the world.
They come to Allume en masss in order to share with us what God is doing – where He is at work throughout the world, doling out His justice, mercy, and compassion. Ministries travel to South Carolina each year in order to educate and invite us to partner with them.
We are today’s online influencers, and these ministries recognize the power of our words and ask us to spend some of them generously to advocate for others. It was at Allume where I learned what a good friend I can be to people half a world away. Here in this digital age we have the ability to reach beyond our real life friends, even beyond the ones we minister to directly online, and touch the lives of families on the underbelly of this globe.
Sole Hope and their care for children in Uganda… The Seed Company‘s mad pursuit of Bible Translation… Preemptive Love and the way heart surgeons can get to the hearts of everyone in foreign communities… Compassion International‘s international compassion for hurting, malnourished families… Vi Bella‘s heart for women in impoverished communities in Haiti and Mexico… So many ministries reaching out over their tables, that we might be inspired to reach out through our blogs.
Bloggers move up and down the center of the hallway, greeting one another with hugs and exclamations. Women who have come to know each other online, finally meeting face to face. Friendship. And hemming them in together, is a friendship deeper still – a friendship with God’s heart for the world.
After a month of posts here at Allume, reminding us that we were made for iron-sharpening-iron relationships, we invite you into a friendship greater, wider, deeper than any of us imagined. Befriending compassion because we are friends with a compassionate God. Befriending mercy because we have been treated mercifully morning by morning. Befriending those in need, because we’ve tasted need in our own blessed, needy circumstances.
We have all sung the words “What a friend we have in Jesus…” and so we respond in the chorus of our lives, so that all may know the friendship of God.
Let your light (your friendship light) so shine before men,
that they may see your good works, and glorify
your father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
At Allume we receive the invitation into this different sort of friendship – an others-centric friendship that shines like light out into a dark and hurting world. Shining from the words we write, the children we advocate for, the link in a blog post, or a button on our sidebar.
I am eager to meet you in the girdle of this long corridor. Grab my hand and introduce yourself. Let’s spend some time together getting to know one another as we get to know what God is doing throughout the world.