Jess Muir speaks in love what others fear to talk about. She asks the questions we feel uncomfortable answering.
But never in her own strength. Jess is so gracefully humble and so deeply understanding of her own personal inabilities that she admits she has no choice but to give herself to Jesus working through her. Because in Him, she has no inhibitions and no regrets.
Through Him, Jess responds to the calls that terrify the rest of us – like the call to minister to drug addicts in India. Because there is nothing more exciting to Jess than to witness God change a person’s life, and to think that God used her in doing so, all the better. Perhaps that’s what attracted her to Betel International, who have emblazoned across their website that they are “Dedicated to Restoring Broken Lives” (http://www.betelinternational.org/)
Jess is in her final year of university, studying pharmacy. In a few weeks, the Student Life group here at the University of Sydney will bid farewell to this pillar of faith, hope and comfort. Of course, we will all miss her, but I honestly think none more than me. My two years at university have been deeply enriched simply for knowing her.
Jess possesses many rare qualities. She has a childlike faith, so completely in awe of her Heavenly Father and all that He has lavished on us. It is a beautiful scene to watch Jess worship her Creator. When she reminds us that “God’s good”, it’s clear that the sentiment is not an empty word for her – she not only knows it, she believes it and more importantly, lives in the knowledge.
There’s no counterfeit for the sort of excited energy she exudes when speaking of her passions. I cherish the moments when I have heard her explain the love of her Saviour and her call to live in total abandon for Him. It brings tears to my eyes. As she sits and communes with me, I can feel that we are not alone. She is always in His presence. She inspires her listening to be Christ-like, simply through the way she lives.
Jess has taught me many things over the past year. She has taught me that vulnerability is not to be feared. She has taught me that I am more than my actions, whether good or bad – I am “God’s cherished kid” (as she would say!) But above all things, she has taught me the true definition of beauty. In the world of media, in which I live and breathe, beauty is skin deep. Gucci is our god and Mattel is king. Yet, through the way she lives, Jess shows that true beauty is spiritual. If we truly understood that, the magazine industry would go bankrupt.
Jess is the most beautiful girl I’ve ever met. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news?” From head to toe, Jess is stunning. I love to sit in her company and hear the good news pour from her lips. When I do, I often feel like I’ve chanced upon a personal treasure and I thank God for Him bringing us together.
She and I became friends through chance timetabling. I had lectures in the pharmacy block and I was often walking in as she was walking out. Although I could often tell she was hurrying somewhere, she always made time to ask me how I was – because she actually wants to know the honest truth of how you are.
In my first year of uni, I never called nor texted her. But we always found each other. It always seemed that when I was at my lowest, she’d be there armed with her wise words, warm smile and intense blue eyes.
I’ve entrusted to her my pains, regrets and joys. Whether in a courtyard after class, a café between classes, in her bedroom as we fixed our make-up in preparation for a friend’s wedding, or on a bunk bed at a week-long conference, we have cried together and shared our most precious and honest thoughts with each other. No matter what the subject, no matter what the consequence of our honesty, I have felt no judgment from her. Jess is a friend who loves at all times.