Monday, November 28, 2011

Learning To Be The Light

A few months ago, I read a book that revolutionized the way I viewed Christianity.  The author suggested that if I wanted to see God do some radical things in my spiritual journey, all I needed to do was pray a prayer that consisted of one request.  It was, "Lord, give me a holy passion."  I had no idea what that prayer would mean for me at the time.  But as each day is coming to pass, I am learning more and more about what that is starting to look like for me.

I have always grown up in the church.  I've been saved for as long as I can remember.  I've attended Vacation Bible School in the Baptist church and have been confirmed in the Methodist church.  I've also been baptized twice just to be safe and have probably sung every hymn written in the church pew hymnal.  Church has been a way of life for me since conception so you can imagine my horror when I started having feelings that left me wondering if going to church really mattered as much as I have always thought it to matter.  It became downright frightening when the more I involved myself at church, the more empty I felt.  I tried to overcompensate by teaching Sunday School and helping with Women's Ministry.  But that only caused me to get sick of the sound of my own voice.  The more involved I got, the more frustrated I became.  And the empty feeling became like a ghost haunting my heart and my mind week in and week out. 

I went straight to the Lord with these issues.  And little by little, I started realizing that most of my time was spent blessing the blessed.  No wonder I felt empty.  I think it's ok to involve yourself in church.  I think it's wonderful to invest into the lives of other believers.  But for me, I was spending my energy and most of my time investing in that one area.  It just felt like there had to be more.  In the Bible, Jesus asked Peter repeatedly Peter, do you love me?  Peter, over and over, said Yes, Lord, of course I love You.  Jesus, each time, told Peter Then, feed my sheep.  I thought I knew what Jesus' sheep looked like.  But I'm learning more each day, my impression was wrong.  God is leading me to His flock.  And with each step of the journey, He's teaching me how to feed them.  You'd be amazed at what His lambs look like.

Jesus says in Matthew, Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.  It's funny how God reveals His Son to me.  The other day Jesus looked a lot like Mr. Brown, an elderly homeless man suffering from Alzheimer's walking the street every day and every night with no where to lay his head.  Did you know Jesus also looks like a single mother of 5 trying to get a fresh start in life?  She came by the local homeless ministry the other day looking for warm clothes for all 5 of her children.  Jesus also resembles the face of a dear seven-year-old girl who needed shoes that fit.  She chose a pair with a princess on each shoe.  I told her she was as pretty to me as a princess.  Her eyes lit up with the light of God.  And in that moment, I realized my holy passion.  To be the Light.  That's it.  That's all He wants from me. 

So, instead of giving those around me a list of what to do and what not to do, instead of trying to melt their icy hearts with my human advice, instead of inviting them to church when I know they probably aren't going to come anyway, instead, I am going to them.  I'm gonna build my city on a hill, place my light in the window sill, and just love on' em.  I am going to just love on 'em.

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