au·then·tic·i·ty:, dependability, trustworthiness, credibility;
accuracy, truth, veracity, fidelity.
I remember attending a gathering to where a certain speaker was rather evangelical & charismatic. I was told she is rather prophetic. I was asked to come up after the service & have her pray for & over me twice. Once at the beginning of our gathering & at the end of the several day gathering. She prayed over me as I was going through some pain from an accident & some on going challenges as a result of the accident. However, the most memorable prayer I had with her was the 2nd time. She specifically called me by name, not just my usual name, but that from those of my immediate family & nearly life long friends & started out with, “Donnie, I know you long for & are seeking authenticity. Authenticity & Genuineness in those around you, those you love, those you seek to love, them that say they love you, not just in your professional/work life, but those in your personal & church life. You have been hurt, and I am not just talking about physically, but emotionally too. You seek to see & seek others out that value authenticity as you do….” She went on with this payer seemingly to know me, what makes me tick, & nearly knowing what I may have been through. Not just over the last few years, but perhaps many years. This did surprise me, as she was right, more than I realized.
Like many I know, I have unfortunately been through a painful divorce & financial adversity. Like some I know, I have unfortunately been through a painful accident (or more) & church split(s), loss of loved ones, & emotional heartache that sometimes just did not make sense, even to a believer.
I have been more blessed than I realized with miraculous healing, financial restoration, spiritual renovation, & emotional strengthening. I have also been blessed by true friends & family that truly know what the word, “love”, means. What “let brotherly love continue” or “love thy brother (or sister) as thyself” as it says in the bible as well as what the definition of love means in 1 Corinthians. Authentic love, authentic friendship, authentic love in more than words, that in actions & deeds.
Now if you have lived on this earth a few decades, you have seen people come in & out of our life. We may question why you do not hear from them often, or for a long duration, or maybe ever again. However maybe we should look a bit deeper more on why they came. Was it just an coincidence? One of my close friends & brothers in Christ has said, “with children of God, there are no coincidences, just assignments” It may be either the assignment for these people pushed along by the Holy Spirit, near “angels”, has passed, or the “assignment” was completed, & another task or stage of life was directed, or God wants another person, or influence to take over. Sometimes people may be in your life for a time, or a season for a reason, while some are in your life forever for a reason.
Recalling this prayer from this speaker during this gathering, I am blessed by having some remarkable people in my life that are authentic, while shortly after that prayer with this speaker, some other people departed that may have not been so authentic, even within weeks to several months after that gathering & prayer. Yet, I have more deeply recalled all those that are in my life, & the new ones that have arrived, and have been brought into my life.
I recall during my accident, while in the hospital a month, all those that came & visited me in the hospital, praying at my side, making me laugh (even though it hurt ; ) ), bringing me cards, flowers, food, & my favorite snacks watching sports to the very late hours of the evening. Those that even held Men’s Group, church & communion while right there in the hospital. Friends that came & visited me once released at home, while I was in a wheel chair for the next 3 or more months, making sure I had food in my refrigerator, made it to my doctors appointments, picked me up for church, prayed with & over me in the middle of my living room, while I tried to ignore the pain, or hold back my emotions & the tears. Even some very authentic people that surprised me by helping with critical bills when I never even asked, or when money showed up in my mailbox or doorstep anonymously, when I was distraught & perplexed on how I would be able to even make the rent or buy any groceries being out of work with no pay for so long, while having two minor children to help support. Granted a good portion of these friends & family were from the Southwest, OH area, but not all of them. Some were in national Groups, & Organizations I am involved in across the nation. I was being prayed for & over in & by churches & brothers & sisters I had never met, & didn’t even know.
Even as I woke up from a dream right now, at 3am on a SONday morning, that I know that may be a state or more away, that I am rather confident that would drop almost anything to help me or my children, or send someone or something that would.
These particular friends & family that are in my life are authentic. They do not say ” I love you” just to express a word, & not mean it. They do not say, “I am my brothers keeper” and not know what it means. They do not inspire me with words as a mere exercise, or in passing; nor do they encourage me to be better, & to grow out of some means of vanity or empty vocabulary. They do all this in authentic love. Brotherly love.
Therefore if you have family & friends likes this. Authentic, non fair weather, true friends & truly loving family members like this, then cherish them. They are priceless. In turn, strive to be authentic as well, in your words, actions & deeds. If you call a friend, “brother” or “sister” than truly be a brother or sister. If you say you will pray for them, or do something for them, then do it with eagerly zeal, never expecting anything in return. Be that one phone call or text away. Be that kind listening ear or warm hug. Demonstrate the “letting brotherly love continue” Send out love, inspiration, & encouragement, & it may be returned to you in ways or folds you never expected during times most needed.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13