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Our Pastor taught on Nehemiah this last Sunday.
I have to admit it is not a book I readily rush to in the old Testament. Not sure why I love the stories of the old prophets and teachers in some ways it is more interesting than the new Testament.
My favorite part would be the Psalms.
One year when our children were younger I did an in depth study on Israel and the Minor Prophets and it was the BEST Bible study I ever experienced. I learned more in that year than I did my whole ‘life’ as a Christian.
In Nehemiah God teaches about the concept of advocate ~ anytime there is an injustice there needs to be an advocate in place to protect the one or ones ‘in crisis’. 
Advocate means: one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal of safety. Or one that supports or promotes the interest of another.
Pastor said: to be a person of refuge is about collaboration.(which basically means the act of working together on a joint project.)
Also a to be a person of refuge is to be in close proximity. (One has to be close to walk alongside someone else. It can’t be done through distance or miles.)
Pastor also said: to be a person of refuge is about filling in the gaps and helping one to rebuild what was perhaps broken or unsafe.
Pastor also said: to be a person of refuge is to be a person of courage when perhaps the one ‘being helped’ is not that strong.
Pastor also said: to be a person of refuge for another is about a lifestyle of open hands and open hearts.
To be an advocate for someone is to put your own opinions on the sidelines and to think solely of the one you are advocating for.
It is a place of strength and purpose and I suppose a place of power and control in some sense.
I have a sister who I have to do all business and social services calls for. I have to pay her bills and keep her in line with appointments and assessments. I can say I am her advocate. I am her voice and I help her to stay safe and in a controlled environment.
My husband is becoming his dad’s advocate. Speaking for him when he sometimes cannot.
Who in your life are you advocating for?
A child ~ A grand child ~ A coworker ~ Someone elderly ~
Someone at your church or volunteer position?
Are you opening your hand and heart to help one another?
It is a challenge for us all to look beyond our ‘self’ and see and experience those who ‘need’ someone to come alongside them.
Following up from the last writing Jesus was an advocate for women.
He gave value and voice to them and walked alongside them
as they learned they had purpose.
I think it is a challenge for us all.
Are you a place of refuge and advocate to anyone today?
If you are not…I challenge you to ask yourself why.
Perhaps there is someone who needs you to be their advocate and place of refuge.
Just a little ‘something to think about.’