When was the last time someone told you a secret that really made them vulnerable? When we do life with people--eating, shopping, hanging out regularly--conversations happen. The more you hang out the deeper the conversations get and we all know what lives in the depth of our hearts, minds, and souls. In the depths live our greatest dreams, greatest desires, greatest fears, greatest weaknesses, and greatest pains. These things can unlock the true self God created us to be, which give us life and life to the fullest. The amazing reality about dreams, desires, fears and weaknesses is they are quite ordinary things. The truth is that ordinary people have ordinary wants and fears. The more you spend time together, the more you pray for them, and the more you desire the best for them, the more you can see into their true character and nature. When you get there you see most people want a good family, a job they can enjoy, someone to love them, and a purpose for life. They may have a dream of doing something amazing but need someone to encourage them to pursue it. Someone to believe in them.
When we discover their fears and weaknesses we find they are not all that different from ours. Fears are most easily conquered through encouragement and support. Weaknesses can be thwarted through love, support, accountability and encouragement while you model the power of Jesus to overcome weaknesses. Instead of suggesting the "just be ordinary" today I need to suggest that you "just be real." Share your own fears and failures, lead the way in vulnerability. Do not cover up your blemishes or else you may never see theirs. Share past failures and victories.
The most difficult yet freeing things held down below is a persons greatest pain. These can be horrifying and sensitive. When these have been revealed to you you have become more than friend. And if handled correctly they have the potential of giving a person new life. The most important thing to remember is that you most likely will not be able to overcome their pain overnight. You must be patient and listen as they share something they may have never shared, and if they have it may not have gone well. Christians are notorious for really screwing these moments up. Love them by spending time with them and listening to them, but realize they most likely will not want this moment to define your ongoing relationship. Treat them normal. They are not your patient, they are you friend. Ask if you can pray for them. It is important to ask because they may have had a previous exorcism not go so well if you know what I mean. Do your research to try to understand what they went through or are going through, but realize you can never really understand. And gently encourage them to seek professional help, you are not a professional (unless you are a professional). You can be their advocate during their professional counseling.
As you continue to do life together and they see how Jesus impacts your life and you share from time to time what he has done for you, they will become curious and if you are intentional you will have an opportunity to share the saving power that transformed your life.