For the past few days I have been wondering about several things and one of the things that I have been wondering about is if I should really write this blog. I say that to say that I know that so many of you reading this will not understand nor will you agree with what I am about to write. I am not asking you to understand completely (because I certainly do not) nor am I saying that you must agree with me but for whatever reason I feel that God wants me to share the battle that is being waged in my mind. I promise that sometime tomorrow I will give some fun, funny and somewhat tearful stories of the past week at the Henderson house but for tonight here goes-
I hope that you will understand as you read this blog that this in no way is meant to say that I have it all together or figured out- There is simply nothing further from the truth. All I know is that in the past few weeks as I have been wrestling with who Christ has called us to be as His followers and the more I have looked around the more I see less of Him in those who claim Him here in America. This week as I read a particular blog, magazine article, listened to David speak on Sunday and spent some time alone with the One we are called to imitate, I realized how far away that I am from who He has called me to be. Here are somethings that have been battling in my mind about Christ followers in America.............I have been wondering if Jesus were here in our city today what would He think about the fact that:
We have beautiful homes and drive fancy cars yet here in our city (and around the world) many are going to sleep tonight with no place to call home.
We have money set aside for our children's education in the future yet there are children who will not be alive tomorrow because they didn't have food to eat today.
We have enormous church buildings for our enjoyment that cost millions of dollars to build and to maintain yet around the world there are people who will never have a Bible written in their native language nor someone there to share Christ's love in person with them.
We swim in pools of fresh water, wash our cars, water our lawns and even decorate with water (sometimes inside our fancy church buildings) when so many in our world haven't ever had clean drinking water and millions are dying because of it.
We make sure our kids have their closets full of clothes and shoes when so many are cold tonight because they have not even one shirt or pair of shoes.
We have pet foot in the frozen section of the grocery store and in the next year half a million children under 5 years old will die in Ethiopia alone due to poor nutrition and healthcare.
It literally makes my stomach hurt to think that we are Christ followers aren't stepping up to do more. It breaks my heart that in the past year David and I have been told by pastors, "I am so glad that you and your church are into the whole adoption thing, we're just not into that." Since when do we get to choose what we want to be into? When God's word says to care for the poor, needy, orphans, widows, and the least of these why do we think we have a right to say we (and our church) aren't called to that?
I was forwarded a blog today from a church who is having a food drive and attached to the short note about the food drive was Luke 6:38- "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."- Seriously......we are saying to Christ followers to give to a food drive so that it will be given back to you. I am not sure that Jesus ever loved, gave or sacrificed His life to get something back from us. Our society is such a "me" driven culture that even our churches are using , "You can get more if you give, instead of challenging people to give because Christ first gave to us." I believe the truth of this scripture but to use it in this way? (Sorry got on my soap box there....... I will stop)
I want to be very careful right here because I dearly love so many that poured truth into my life while I was growing up. I am who I am today because so many invested into my life, yet I grew up in church and heard very little about caring for the poor, needy, outcast, orphans, widows, and lost for that matter. If I did hear about the poor and needy it was usually about how the "bus kids" from a low income housing development were causing issues but I never remember being challenged to love and care for them. I can't think of one family in that church that adopted children who were in need of a home. I know that money was sent to help in the area of missions but very few times were we ask to join in and actually do the mission. I was taught how to pray and I even learned how to spend an hour a day praying which is very important yet only praying doesn't share the love of Jesus with those He has placed us here to love. Again, I am so thankful for what was taught to me, yet I hope that for the next generation they will be a light into the darkness not just a light where light already exist.
I say all of this to say that after years and years of our American culture telling us to look out for ourself and our family I think that we as Christ followers have been sucked into believing that even our relationship with Him is all about us. Little by little our churches have bought into needing to be more comfortable and modern all the while the "world" around us is literally dying and going to hell both here in America and around the world. I promise that if you ask any nonbeliever what their town needs they won't say another church building. I promise that if you travel with me to Zway, Ethiopia and visit with Case Abraham, at his tiny church, you will see how far away from being an imitation of Jesus you and I really are. When we have nothing and are promised nothing are we still willing to go all out as we imitate our Father?
"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.” Ezekiel 16:49