I didn’t want to write this post. There were many sunnier topics I had considered sharing. But this is the one I felt needed to be written because…
…I’m wrecked—torn up inside. And I’m struggling with what to do about it. Maybe you are, too.
You see, our third-world brothers and sisters are scavenging for the last vestiges of anything edible, and I’m living in the lap of luxury. (Yes, middle class America is the lap of luxury.) While they wonder where their next meal will come from, I’m searching for the next best deal.
And I’m finally letting it bug me!
Avoidance Isn’t the Answer
I’ve been stung by the plight of others less fortunate before. But I’ve never allowed it to take hold of me like now.
In the past, I’ve always managed to “manage” my compassion. I’d give a little something and then shake it off—to prevent it from digging deep into my heart and hanging on. But for the past year I’ve been largely unsuccessful.
As much as I’d like to stay away from such uncomfortable topics, I can’t. Something draws me to consider those who live a world apart, those I will likely never meet—and beckons me to be undone.
…what and how?
What do we do with starving orphans, whole communities of diseased and dying families, and the discarded disabled?
How are we to respond to true desperation when we have refrigerators and freezers filled to the brim, cupboards overflowing with produce, and closets bursting with clothes?
Do we join them on the streets? Do we sell all we have and live like paupers?
Should we feel guilty for living in the United States?
Do we offer a token gesture, a pat on the head, to make us feel better? Or do we turn a blind eye and pretend they don’t exist?
The questions have whirled in my mind. And I’ve finally settled on the only answer I can right now.
I must move. We all must move.
We must take a step toward the needy.
Each of us must embrace being undone and take action. One step at a time.
The body of believers cannot “do” nothing when some of God’s children are suffering. As tempting as it may be, we cannot avoid the harsh reality of poverty and persecution because it makes us uncomfortable. We cannot ignore it or forget about it because it is inconvenient. We cannot write off the sadness and suffering as someone else’s concern.
We all must take a first step.
My first one step is this post. To acknowledge the plight of the poor and persecuted. To accept the call to do something.
And I’ll be praying for the next step … and the one after that. Because each step needs to be followed by another—a series of small steps to make a big difference.
Different One Steps
I’m certain we’re all called to move for the poor, to let ourselves be undone. Because God didn’t plop some of us in developed countries merely to live a life of relative ease. He placed us here to demonstrate His heart of compassion, to be His hands and feet.
But I’m equally certain, we aren’t all called to make the same step.
So maybe our job—mine and yours—is to figure out what that move looks like in each of our lives.
This first step may be the hardest.
But being wrecked is not about ease; it is about the broken serving the broken.
Ultimately, being wrecked is about love.
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” 1 John 3:17
Q4U: What might your first/next one step be to serve those in need?
Yours in grace,
*Author and speaker Jeff Goins wrote a challenging and inspiring book entitled “Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life.” Check it out. It will make you think deep and reach far.