I suppose this post could come across like I’m preachin’. It’s really not my intent. It’s more like, oh I don’t know, maybe God is just revealing some things to me about myself, and about Christians in general… just wait. You will see what I mean.
The truth of most of my life is that church and God’s Word have been, and are, my very lifeline. However, while I knew what scripture said about telling others about Christ and the hope that He brings… I never really had the guts or determination to share those lifelines with others. It was like I chose which parts of the Bible I wanted to obey and the other parts that made me uncomfortable…well, those didn’t apply to me. Right?
It’s true… that has been most of my life until these past two years as God has completely changed my perspective.
What would YOU do if four women walked into your day with similar stories of abuse and the need for shelter from a raging storm in their own homes? They aren’t bearing physical scars (at the time) but the hurt and humility are clearly a burden that each of them bear. Clothing? Is that going to solve the deep hurt that each woman feels?
Or maybe that lady that looks like she is living on the street walks into your presence with bandages on her arms. You ask how she’s doing and her reply is, “I’ve been better.” You ask what happened and she says, “This is just from stress… and you think I’m pitiful, don’t you?”
Your reply might be, “No ma’am. I think you are hurting and the ONLY thing I can say to you that might help is that there is a healing balm in Gilead. His name is Jesus.” A pair of shoes might help her in the short term, but what will heal that pain that’s too deep for anyone to see until she mutilates her arms for all to see?
Or maybe an elderly woman is suddenly in front of you. You ask how you can help and she says, “Well, I’ve raised my children. Now, my children have left THEIR children with me. My daughter is on drugs and living on the street. She came into my home, demanded money, and when I wouldn’t give it to her she took all of my clothes and poured bleach on them. I need clothes.” What do you say? Are clothes REALLY all she needs?
So much of my life has been surrounded by church. Church buildings, church people, church life. My mom and dad took me to church and kept me there until I was in college where I played around and skipped church here and there. I rebelled some, but my story mainly surrounds the protection of many prayers and love from many God- fearing people along the way even though my life was tainted by sin. I married a Godly man and into a Godly family. To say that He has been very present in my life would be a fair and humbling statement. To say that my heart has been far from Him at times and that my sinfulness has separated me from Him would be true, but His steadfast love and protection has been overwhelming even in my sin.
I can’t wrap my mind around the hurt that people endure outside of the walls of the Bride of Christ. I can’t until it walks right in front of me and the Lord whispers, “What will you tell them? Will you give them just clothing? Will you share Me?”
Is that how it is with most of us “church people?” We don’t sense the real urgency to share Christ because we don’t get it? Are we so tightly wrapped in our church bubble that we fail to connect with the society around us that is going straight to hell without Christ or are living in hell because Jesus isn’t even a factor in their reality?
I have to say that I do not regret being sheltered from the harshness of life in some ways. It makes me grateful for those who prayed for, loved and kept me. It has, however, caused me to not know a lot of the realities of life and now that I am in my 40’s God is peeling back layers to allow me to see just how much hurt there truly is… and even then I only see a few minutes of their lives. Who knows what they live in on a daily basis and just how far the pain truly goes??
He is the only one that TRULY sees every single fiber of their being and if I am not going to tell them when they stand in front of me… who will?
Doesn’t He hold me accountable to tell of His goodness with urgency? Doesn’t He call me to not just choose to believe His promises for myself, but to tell others that His word says, “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before Me.” Isaiah 49:16
The answer is yes. The Lord does hold me accountable to tell. His Word commands that we go into the nations and make disciples, and somehow, as I grew into an adult in the church, I thought that may have meant those special people that He calls to be missionaries.
You know? I get so distracted.
Being a wife and mom, wondering what my friends are doing and where I need to go for the next errand… what we will have for dinner and whether the laundry is done or not… there are SO many things that keep me in my own little world. God is just showing me in REAL LIFE that He has such a greater purpose for me and every other Christian that truly wants to follow Christ with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength. It’s URGENT!