Thoughts,Songs,Writings,Rants,Encouragements, and Life

Monday, October 03, 2005

Injustice

What is the responsibility of the believer to the suffering in the world today? Are we called to take care of our brothers and sisters in Christ only? When taking a look at Matthew 25 it may seem like that. But when looking at Isaiah 58 I think things change...the tables turn and we are called not just to our ‘Christian’ brothers and sisters, but to all human kind, our own flesh, and our kin. Correct me if I am wrong here, but I believe this is a call to each and every living person on this spinning planet. I mean that is our mission right? “To know God and make Him known.”

I was recently sitting in a prayer meeting, when I felt the Lord pulling my heart towards the injustices of the world today. There are so many things that are happening right now, all over this world, that are breaking my heart: hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, corruption, terrorism, persecution, homeless, starvation…etc. When looking at injustice we can turn to a couple of passages in scripture: Matthew 25 and Isaiah 58:6-12. (I will let you look these up in your own preferred texts. I would also suggest that you take a look at the background of these texts…I have given some above, but not enough…this is not really about those texts)

What were talking about here is: sharing food with the hungry, welcoming poor wanderers into our homes, giving clothes to those who need them, offering a cold cup of water to someone who lips are parched, giving people a place to rest, and not hiding from relatives, humans, kin who need our help. I can’t help but hope and think that this is what WE need to be doing. During crisis and even when the crisis itself is NOT showing our front doorsteps with a barrage of misguided bullets. This isn’t so much a get up off your lazy butt and go pledge your entire life to missions or helping in the aide of those in need. This is more of a heart issue. I admit to not always doing these things. In fact rarely do they cross my mind when going through the day. Heck it doesn’t happen often enough, where something smacks me across the face and says, “Hey dude, (bright neon sign flashing) help this person out!” I care for those special [people who are around me, but what about those in need that I don’t know or perhaps more to the point, don’t notice? How long will this ignorance reign in my life?

One thing I do know that hinders my ability to serve, are my weaknesses. My fear of the unknown covers me with insecurities, fallacies, and I am not capable of doing these things, so I hide from what I am called to do. I recently read a quote by Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision. He said something in a simple prayer to God, which caught my attention and struck my heart with new found pain and understanding. “Let the things that break Your heart, break mine.” I want to have the heart of the father, a heart beating and burning for his Children. I don’t want to run away anymore, I want to embrace the heartaches and hardships of this world and help make a change. But how can I do this?

You see this isn’t about Bush or Katrina. This isn’t about Live 8. This is not about Tsunamis in Asia. It is not about corrupted governments or abusive employers. This isn’t even about you. This is about those in need. This is about my own personal life, the actions that pour from my life, and the surgery that needs to take place right now in my life. I am convicted of not doing enough. I have tried to place Jimmy Neutron and Finding Nemo band aides upon severed hearts and souls. The Neosporin isn’t enough here folks. The Excedrin doesn’t take away this pain and it never will! I am guilty of not really caring enough. I place a band aid here and a hug there, maybe even a kiss or good home cooked dinner. All the while I am playing a selfish game of who has the coolest Sand Castle and the most toys. This is where my passion, zeal, zest, fire, and love for people gets lost and evaporates. I am foolish to think that these things could bring me closer to the right hand of Christ. Everything will fall away, everything will fade, and nothing here on earth is Sound (thank you Jon Foreman for the insight). “He who has the most toys still dies.” “All my sand castles will spend their time collapsing.” I am longing for hope and something more, but when that hope is placed before me I begin to cringe. For that hope comes in a form that was not what I expected or even asked for.

I scream to be stretched and uncomfortable. “Oh Lord, expand my territories, my lifestyle, my affection for you…” And yet when I ask for these things…I scream like a little girl and run the other direction as fast and quick as I can. Perhaps I ask for God to make me flexible and give me these hard situations, just so I can see how I can handle the situation in my own prideful way. It has nothing to do with growing at all, just how much I can handle. The stretching that befalls me is that which I cannot handle, or do not wish to handle. You see, when I get to the new and unknown I become discouraged. I end up pleading for my life in situations that would have been a great opportunity to live out my professed faith. These situations where band aides can be replaced with stitches that will heal over time. The scars will still remain, yes, but those scars are memories of where we have been and how far we have come. Are we giving everyone the chance to heal? Or just a few selective people? Those that we are comfortable and easily capable of pleasing and stopping the blood flow of.

Here I am in India. Thousands of miles from the disasters in the states, but I have many opportunities here as well. I ride through streets each day, plastered with faces that say, “I need help, will You help me?” I walk with and next to people who are so torn up on the outside and inside that I don’t know where to begin. The question is: am I helping? I bleed the trademark of a faker or poser, I posses only the power to be selfish. I don’t want to be selfish anymore. It is not about me or how I would do things. What it is about, is Him and His way and His calling us to minister to and help His sheep.

The other day I had an opportunity to minister to some students. One of these students has been in one of my classes where I get to hang out, encourage, and evaluate these young men and women. There was a young man who was not doing well. The critiques were flying in, but the encouragements were few and far between. I tried to be uplifting, I really did, but it was hopeless. This young man was lost to this specific pack of lions and there suggestions and jeers. There was a point during this young mans evaluation that he tensed up and became a shadow of sorts. He had become a statue to save his pride, he was playing dead so as if not to get torn to pieces by the vultures. And one of the other evaluators kept coming at him. My heart begged for the evaluator to let up and stop, but nothing doing, he kept going. The young man I could tell was almost in tears…and this would be an experience he would not forget for a while. Later on in the week I had the opportunity to have a cold drink with this person. So did the other evaluator, (two separate occasions). What we found out blew both of us away. This young man came from a very needy home. From a family life that was less than desirable. This young man had also cheated death twice in his life. He had once been attacked by an elephant in the jungle near his home, nearly crushed by this elephant’s trunk. This man has a story of injustice like no other. The reason he was at this Training seminar was because his mother told him, “You need to go to this because God has given you a story and he saved your life…now go and help others.” Wow! This man has so much hurt in his life and he is willing to come and give up his life for the gain of others into the kingdom of God. He is willing to help with injustice. And what does this have to do with me? I got to be blessed by this young man and his story, but I also got to help encourage him on his way to fighting the injustices in this world. And he thanks me for teaching him certain things? Come on, it is him who has taught me so much. It guys like this young man he make me wonder and think:

“Am I doing and acting upon that which I was challenged to do in Isaiah 58 and Matthew 25? Am I spending enough time ministering? Am I a complete failure? Could I take more time and initiative with everything that I am doing? I believe I can be or at least I am called to be.”

Justice and Mercy, the two words that haunt me and yet have to be part of my mission statement and daily living. I have to continue to help and grow in everything…all day…each day…for the rest of my life. Will you keep me accountable to this? Now the question is…

Will you be motivated into making a difference in this world? Maybe you think this isn’t your cup of Chai. Perhaps you think, “Why me? Someone else will do it, right?” If I may be so bold to give direction here, I can list a couple of ways that you can help, and they don’t bring you too far out of your comfort zone. The first one is try giving to a mission organization, find someone to support who is trying to help quiet the injustices of this world. Secondly, try spending some time at your local homeless shelter or rescue mission…this is a simple way to give your time to some people who might just need to talk or need a hot meal served to them, or could use some of your old socks and jackets. Thirdly, go to the local orphanage and spend some time with the children. Fourth, you could volunteer your time somewhere, with youth, crisis pregnancy, hospitals, churches, in your neighborhood, your office, your family, and maybe even random people on the streets. Lastly, (and this is one of my favorites, because of its involvement here in India) check out the Dalit Freedom Network, (Click the Icon on the right hand side of the blog to find out more) try sponsoring a child…seriously it only takes $20 a month, and you can bet your life savings that this will change lives and bring hope to some of the people in this world who suffer from major oppression and injustice.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:11 AM

 
Anonymous crystal said...

"One thing I do know that hinders my ability to serve, are my weaknesses. My fear of the unknown covers me with insecurities, fallacies, and I am not capable of doing these things, so I hide from what I am called to do." This is huge. right now I KNOW I am supposed to do something about injustice and poverty. But I get embarrased when I think about the audacity of thinking that I could make a difference in a problem so impossibly big. I'm afraid of trying and being proven incompetent. and I'm much more comfortable standing in the shadow between decision and darkness. good thoughts.

4:44 AM

 

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