Sad. Burdened. Confusion. Love. Frustrated. Helplessness. Overwhelmed. Haunted.
These are all feelings I have had when I think of the poor. When I stop my “Woe is me” attitude and look around me to see those who are less fortunate, I find myself in a state of panic. The kind of panic that keeps your hands and feet from moving, but your brain is spinning.
I am one person. One person who is too busy. Too busy with my own family. Too busy with work. Too busy with my own interests. And to top it off, too busy taking care of stuff that really doesn’t need me to take care of it.
But, I’m reading a book. It’s called One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow by Scot McKnight. And, for the 1st time, I finally feel a focus. I’m not even halfway through and it’s taking me @ a week to read each chapter. Let me re-phrase. I read a chapter and then marinate on it for a week before I feel like I can take on more. It makes me think. It doesn’t let me just gloss over the words on the page and move on.
The premise is that we, as Christians, are doing lots of things, but not necessarily the things that Jesus came to do. I’ve read all of the Gospels. But I’m starting to read them again, with the thought in mind of “What did Jesus mean when He said, ‘Follow me?” I’m amazed. And I’m not sure why I am. I know He came to “seek and save the lost.” But in Luke 4:16-21, it clearly shows us there was more to it than just dying for our sins. As if that wasn’t enough.
I’ve always thought it was. I mean, just the fact that He gave up heaven to come and be abused by man so that I can be with Him for eternity is enough in my finite mind. But that wasn’t the only reason He came. I could go on and on here, but I’ll stop—Scot says it so much better in his book.
I’ve said it before, but it haunts me when I look at the kids at my daughters’ school. There are so many who are living at the poverty level. Truly poor. It’s hard. I try to keep busy when I enter the school so that it doesn’t assault me with the helplessness of “I’m one person—what can I do???” I’m not even a very nice person and many of those kiddos drive me crazy.
But these are who Jesus came to free. These are who Jesus came to proclaim good news to. If I’m to truly follow Him, what does that mean for me? Is he calling me to my neighborhood instead of the orphans in Rwanda? Or is He calling me to both?
I’m still not sure what this means. What I know is that He has put something inside of me that tries to get out every few years or so. Something that I ignore with the reality of my own circumstances. Something that moves me for a time, but eventually settles back down.
And I don’t want that to be the case anymore.