our work

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Keeping the Coals Stoked

I watched a documentary on Netflix today that both horrified and energized me at the same time. It is called " Triage, Humanitarian Dilemma: Dr. James Orbinski" or something close to that. Dr. Orbinski is a Canadian doctor, devoted father and lover of the poor and downtrodden people of Africa. If you have Netflix and want God to shake you right out of your complacency regarding the suffering that goes on around the globe, THIS is the documentary for you!
The last movie I watched was another documentary called "Small Voices" about street children in Cambodia. It, too, was an eye opening journey into the lives of those the word of God calls all Believers to minister to - the poor, the widows, the fatherless.
I have a love/hate relationship with documentaries such as the ones I just mentioned. I love the way they keep my heart tender for those in need around the world. I love how they open my eyes to those who suffer and struggle simply for survival. I hate how helpless these shows make me feel. I think about them for days. As I care for my family, I think about the mothers I saw on the screen, emaciated women, trying to nurse skeletal infants. I bemoan my need to lose 25 pounds and get back on the treadmill but realize that my "problem" is strictly FIRST WORLD. So small. Nothing, really.
There are two things I am always seeking my Heavenly Father about. The first is that the story of what Christ did on the cross is something I would never grow cold about - that it would always move and overwhelm me when I hear it. The second is that I would never be able to turn a blind eye to the suffering of other humans and go on, unaffected, if I can help in some way.
So far, He has proven faithful on both accounts.
I asked these things of Him years ago and had no idea how they would look in reality. If I had known, I may not have asked. Too late.
I can not contain my tears when I hear a song, read an account or hear a sermon about Calvary. I used to be unmoved as a teen and young woman. I felt grateful for what Jesus endured for my sake but accepted it and moved on. Not anymore.

I grew up with NO heart for the poor, the foreigner, the orphan or the widow. I remember making jokes about starving Africans as a young, stupid teen. I vividly recall thinking, when I saw hungry children on television with flies buzzing around their encrusted eyes and mouths "their parents should have used birth control". I had so little understand of the gift of life. Such short-sighted views of my role as a professing Believer in Christ. THOSE people that seemed so very different from me - so responsible for their situations - were just like me.

In the book of Revelation, God chastises the church at Laodecia for thinking they are rich when they are, in reality, "poor, blind, wretched, pitiful, poor and naked". I was likely MORE poor, blind, wretched, pitiful, poor and naked than those I stood in such superior judgement over.

The tender heart is something God cultivated in me after motherhood. After HE showed me the mystery of loving someone more than myself, He began to drive that love deeper and stretch it out to include those not of my bloodline. Only God can make someone as selfish as I was (and sometimes am) into a lover of strangers. Miracle of mercy! Proof He is REAL! Grace gift!

I dare you, fellow sojourners, ask the Lord to make your heart break for what breaks His. Ask him to keep your coals burning and your fire stoked for the calling that He has placed on your life.

Once you do, He will. And there is no going back. Never the same! Changed for the better! Pounded to dust for the sake of the gospel but fully renewed for the work!

No comments:

Post a Comment