If we’re “really for truly” following Jesus, we’ll be regularly reaching out to the lost and hurting. Which means if we’re not reaching out regularly to the lost and hurting, we’re not “really for truly” following Jesus. Or maybe we’re “following at a distance” like Peter did the night of Jesus’ betrayal. Just close enough so that we can technically claim to follow, but not close enough to get our hands dirty, to get caught red handed collaborating with Jesus as he redeems this fallen world.
I wrestle with this, even being a pastor. I fall short every day. Sometimes I miss opportunities to serve because I’m not paying attention. Sometimes I’m paying attention but I chicken out. Sometimes I’m just plain selfish and rebellious. Jesus was… no, IS about others. He came to serve, not to be served. And he lives in me.
I’ve had the privilege of knowing some folks fighting Cerebral Palsy, but as you know it’s painful to watch such precious souls trapped in a body that won’t obey their minds. That must be how tortured Jesus feels when I don’t do my part. I’m the foot that won’t walk, the hand that won’t reach, the eye that won’t see, the heart that won’t beat for the lost.
Tonight was soccer night, parents against kids. What a blast. But it was warm, so we returned home sweaty and tired. Piling out of the car, I saw our neighbors sitting on their front porch enjoying a snack. I said hi. And the moment I did, an idea fluttered almost invisibly across the screen of my mind. I spoke it into existence.
“I should get a camera and take a picture of you guys!”
“You should get a camera and take a picture of them,” the Spirit nudges. “And then print it up as an 8×10, frame it, and give it to them as a gift.”
I feel a spark of life in my heart. The joy of Christ saying, “Let’s do this.” So I got my camera, asked for their best family pose, snapped the shot, and hopped inside. I’m going to print it up tomorrow.
I don’t know what God will do with this. I just know that God wanted me to do it. The rest is up to Jesus. Such a little, every day gesture, I know, but I believe that the world can change one little, everyday gesture at a time.