I was talking the other day with a group of people about the parable of the Good Samaritan. We were discussing how we as Christians should respond when someone has a need. Ever driven down the street and seen someone holding a cardboard sign that says “Will work for Food” and you just kept on driving? I have found that in speaking with people on this subject, they often either want to do something but do not out of fear of being hurt or don’t because they fear being taken advantage of. We have all heard the stories- someone got hurt trying to be a good Samaritan and now none of us want to reach out and help anyone else in need because what if that individual really didn’t need our help? … what if they were just scamming us and had more money than we all had put together? Yet what if they didn’t? What if we just drove by Jesus in disguise and did NOTHING because we have become so cynical?
Hebrews 13:2 “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing.
I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter if they are scamming me or not. When Jesus looks at me reaching out to someone He never thinks of me as "being a fool" for letting myself be scammed- He looks right into my heart and that is the only thing that matters to Him. I don’t ever want to go back to that cynical attitude where ‘I” am the only one that matters. Where I am not even able to help my neighbors out of fear of being hurt or taken advantage of. I am not interested in living for ME any longer. Been there, done that- doesn’t work. I was left feeling lonely, discouraged, worthless, desperate, and lost. I am ready to move on and like this blog http://poulsenstochina.blogspot.com/ -escape from the kingdom of me. Read the post below- this is a girl who ‘gets it’.
"We are only asked to love, to offer hope to the many hopeless. We don't get to choose all the endings, but we are asked to play the rescuers. We won't solve all mysteries and our hearts will certainly break in such a vulnerable life, but it is the best way. We were made to be lovers bold in broken places, pouring ourselves out again and again until we're called home." excerpt from TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS by Jamie Tworkowski
I am part of a team at my church putting together a back to school ministry to help local families get their kids ready with needed supplies. I asked someone on Sunday if they would like to help out that night. The response was a concern for how we monitor these families to make sure they don't take from us and from other community outreaches offering supplies, you know how do we keep them from taking advantage of us. I simply smiled and said, we don't. We welcome them, we talk to them, we offer to meet a need, we share the love of Christ and the plan of salvation with the whole family. The point is that there are people all over this world that are feeling isolated and depressed, unworthy and disposable, unloved and invisible. Does it really serve any purpose to constantly worry about someone getting the better of us? Shouldn't everyone be getting the better of us? In reading through the sites linked to the article I found this quote from Blue Like Jazz written by Donald Miller. I read this book several months ago and missed this incredible statement:
"The human struggle bothered Rick, as if something was broken in the world and we were supposed to hold our palms against the wound."
I am thinking that most of the time we are so blinded by the daily routine that we can't even see the wounds. This is where I am at, I am beginning to see the wounds in such a way that I can no longer forget, in a way that I can no longer sit on my hands when I should be pressing them against the wound. This is so not easy though because I am full of fear and hesitation.My journey will begin by not overlooking the simple things. There are so many simple and practical ways to "do something." We overlook them because we think $25 doesn't make a difference. We really don't believe that that through a simple gift, the unwavering faith, of a CHILD, Jesus took 5 loaves and 2 fish and fed thousands of people.
I have not written any of these things lately to sit in judgement of anyone - I have judged more than I want to think about. I am done living the lie that being that I am somehow entitled to be judgemental all in the name of venting. Seriously, I really just want you to keep these things on your mind long enough to allow God to inspire something amazing in you, to heal wounds through you, to love through you. Maybe we can somehow all take this journey together through our stories on these blogs. I am so ready to actually blog about something I have done recently, rather than about something I have read.