What is a mentor? Someone older, someone younger. Sometimes it’s formal-structure. Sometimes just walking through life together… Is where mentoring is found.
A mentor asks you to buy butter. Or drive her kids to swimming lessons-- That how one of my mentors found me anyway.
Sometimes it is time-framed-discipleship-- Through the book of John, Meeting once a week for 8 weeks.
But sometimes, it’s just a week, When a washing machine breaks, And the offer is to come do laundry and drink coffee.
Or it’s berry picking and good conversation. All the can-be-possibilities, Of mentoring.
My friend is mentoring a high schooler through Spanish. Tutoring her in Spanish. Which has led to tutoring her in life and God-filled family life— For a young girl who has not experienced family, Whose life has been so hard and full of hurt. And now they will start running together. Every Thursday they will run and talk about music and movies and school and boys and family and-- God will be intertwined throughout. That is mentoring.
It can be a purposeful, prayerful text. Or an adopted “grandma” who fills the void. A weekly walking date. A Costco run with an offer for tag-along-talking. Craft project Fridays. Facebook prayers and follow-ups. Ladies’ Bible study lunches. A tired mama who takes the time to pray and sing before her child's eyes close. Or a grey-haired-home-group that reaches out to another, That has carseats full of cheerios and pacifiers. That is mentoring.
It is an older mama who gives her number for parenting questions. Team-cleaning during a move, or sickness, or the newborn baby fog. A homeschool mom who invites over a newbie to talk curriculum. The adopted “aunt” who shows up with birthday doughnuts and loves on children-- Not family by birth, but very much family.
Car rides here & there with the ninety-year-old who knows she’s going to die soon. Who makes Heaven real for a young mom, Not aware that her own child will be there soon as well. That is mentoring.
Verses in the mail. Heartaches shared, struggles wrestled, wisdom imparted. Or the college woman who lets a 13-year-old tag along while they dig through dumpsters, Behind markets looking for cardboard boxes in preparation for Middle School Mindcraft Night. And then they go out to lunch-- Where there is talking and sharing and teaching and living out-- About how we can live as a light for Christ in the middle of darkness. That is mentoring.
Mentoring in the moment and the mundane. A life of moment-by-moment significance. We must not undervalue lives intertwined where hearts and eyes are lifted to the Lord, Through the power of example and instruction, And enjoyment, And love.
So what holds us back from mentoring? Is it-- “I’m not qualified?” God’s power is perfected in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).
Is it—“I’m not wise enough?” God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise (1 Cor. 1:26-27).
Every older woman (myself included) thinking-- “Why would she want to spend time with me?” “I bet I’m almost twice her age.” “Won’t she think that’s proud…me, inviting her to come learn?”
Every younger woman (myself included) thinking-- “I don’t want to impose or take her time.” “I bet she’s already so busy.” “I can’t just invite myself over to her house.”
That middle-school-awkwardness of-- Will I be wanted? Accepted? Rejected? Possibly.
But Lewis writes-- “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one… Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
And they will know we are His disciples by our love for one another (John 13:35).
It’s not about the activity or setting. But a willingness to dig in deep. To build relationships. To allow God to use-- Our abilities or failures, Our marriages or singleness, Our parenting or infertility, Our youth or aged-ness, Our strengths or our weaknesses, In the life of another. To point them back to Him.
Mentoring-- Is sharing life’s experiences Through the lens of God’s Word, And our own personal sanctification, With a heart to encourage one another’s growth toward a deeper relationship with Christ.
Mentoring-- Is learning to hear, look for, listen to, and answer God’s call, To be faithful right where we are.
Mentoring-- Is learning to see our homes, cars, phones, computers, sidewalks, coffee shops, Biblestudies, church foyers, and even laundry rooms… As places where holy things can happen.
Kara Chupp @ The Chuppies