"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Boldness and Behind the Scenes

I wish all of us could be so bold as to go up to hurting people, homeless people and sit with them and give them our time. That would be so awesome. And each of us needs to get out of our comfort zones and do that at least once. I have. I was scared to death. In a day and age where I cannot remember a friend's name on any given day...it would be a frightening thing to walk up to a stranger and try to remember his/her name--much less give them a piece of Jesus in me.

But it did make me feel like I had peeled a layer of apprehension off of me and maybe next time it might be easier...and maybe not.

Matthew 25:31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,
you were doing it to me!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.
42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

I have read and re-read this. I've really tried to see where someone would be considered less for just dropping off some used socks and shoes to homeless people. I've really tried to see where someone who brought warm meals to the homeless would be considered not doing what Jesus would do....

What's the motive? The motives of the church goers who brought shoes and socks so that the homeless would have their feet taken care of--- were their motives any less than those who brought themselves and the gospel? Those who brought the gospel had boldness that shoe-givers do not? I'm just asking because I need to know.

Jesus said "I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was a stranger, I was naked".....and this uncomfortably scared little team of church members brought clothes and another team--walking out of their comfort zones brought food. And then I read a quote from a precious child of God "I believe it's the raw, authentic love of Jesus lived out thru us that will draw people to the heart of God. Not a pile of socks on the street given out half-heartedly, or a hot meal given in haste."

The motives of the church goers who brought warm meals to the homeless...didn't it take time to give it to the homeless....to prepare it....to plan it... and the love to serve it? And instead of standing around and watching the fruits of their labors...didn't hang around and watch...they left...so that the homeless could enjoy their meal without people strutting around saying "see what we did for the homeless...what are you doing???" Are those who gave the hot meal any less a servant than those who have the boldness to walk up to these same people and give their time? I'm thinking both are reflections of Jesus... Because it takes all of us to be the hands and feet of the gospel.

I know passing out used socks and shoes and warm food isn't radical. But Jesus said that's part of what the righteous ones did for him.


Amy Spahr said...

i dont think i clearly shared what was in my heart. i wasnt saying that some people were less than others, or that some were bolder than others , please forgive me if thats how it came across - only that sometimes all people really just need and want is for people to spend time with them. the homeless are people too, they have names.. and often they are treated as less than human. yes, socks are important as is a hot meal... and very much needed. but why not give a hot meal and bring one along for ourselves.. and sit down and eat together? or bring a bucket of hot water and soap, wash their feet and then give them that pair of clean of socks?
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. the homeless are human too, Jesus loves them, and we shouldn't be scared of them.
i just wanna know how to love people the way that Jesus would.. i'm tired of the fluff and am ready and looking for the real stuff that transforms lives.

heartofpraise said...

Wow. WHat you're saying is so true!