“Paul went to see them (Aquila and Priscilla),
and because he was a tentmaker as they were,
he stayed and worked with them.” Acts 18:3
There is something so sweet and beautiful in these simple verses. We’d miss it if we didn’t stop to read it over and form a picture of it for our minds to see. The seeing is so important, we must stop, allow our minds to imagine Paul, coming across Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. In the midst of conversation, imagine that moment when they connect with each other, “We’re tentmakers too,” and then an invitation to come and stay for a while. It seems easy, it seems familiar, it seems natural. This is the way I imagine it. We don’t know all the interaction and I’m sure there could be points made on many levels as to whether Paul already knew the couple, whether they were believers and so on and so on. That’s not what I’m getting at. It’s this openness, this clear-purposeful living, this mission to be like Jesus. This was Priscilla and Aquila.
This beautiful, sweet invitation to share in their lives.
I’m still imagining it – not forced or strained. Not programmed or planned. Not scripted or quota-filling.
Real and personal and free.
And I’m still imagining how Paul must have enjoyed his time with these two believers. How he must have been fed and renewed. And in kind, how Priscilla and Aquila surely savored the moments spent with Paul, working alongside him, hearing of all his adventures and their own telling of their life story as well. And always, this encouragement to keep moving forward, to stay strong in the charge, to teach the evidence and show the love of a man who sacrificed his life for yours.
Wherever you are, whatever you do, share your life with everyone.
It is evident Priscilla and Aquila understood this and Paul recognized it. He stayed with them, worked alongside them, shared life experiences, stories of hardships, of being forced to leave their homes, charged with the honor of pointing people to Jesus, and even tales of great danger and great joy. I can only gather this time together was so powerful, Priscilla and Aquila left Corinth to travel with Paul to Ephesus (v. 18), where they were used to minister to Apollos, an infectious and eloquent preacher who needed to learn more (v.26).
And isn’t this the picture Jesus left for us? Sharing in the lives of those all around him, wherever, whatever, with everyone? Once Jesus began his ministry, he travelled, a lot. He met and touched the lives of countless people, all with problems, with great need. Still he lived among them, ate with them, shared life with them, healed them, loved them.
And this is what we are to do. To live fully wherever we are, whatever we are doing, with everyone. To share our lives, our resources, our hearts with everyone around us.
This giving away of all of me didn’t feel natural and freeing, as it’s meant to be, at first. It felt awkward because of my selfishness and even ill thoughts of my own worthiness as being greater than someone else. Yet, the more I looked into God’s word and the life of Christ as fully God and fully human, it got easier. I began to really see people as His creation, as they were meant to be. And as I’ve learned many times over, there are no regrets, only greater blessings. In these times, the filling up in my soul brings me to a place of oneness with the Father. It’s in those moments that my heart sees Him as fully as I can on this earth. It’s what allows me to truly see others. It’s a grander vision of how I can encourage, come along side, pray over, teach, advocate for, or simply love.
It is the way we were created, and it is God’s way for us.
To live like his Son, to look like his Son.
Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, with everyone.