To the End of the Earth
This summer my husband and I are going to Jalaca, Honduras to love on some people we believe are deserving of our undivided attention. Although our trip only allows us to be there for a week, I am very much looking forward to all that we will do. We will be primarily focusing our attentions at New Life Children’s Home. First and foremost we will be loving on some precious orphans. My heart aches every time I think about these sweet kids who may have began to believe the lie that they are not loved or that no one cares for them, because it is so far from the truth.
“We decided to stop complaining about the church we saw, and we set our hearts on becoming the church we dreamed of.” (Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution)
“Charity wins awards and applause, but joining the poor gets you killed. People do not get crucified for charity. People are crucified for living out a love that disrupts the social order that calls forth a new world. People are not crucified for helping poor people. People are crucified for joining them.” (Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution)
It was about five years ago that I felt a tugging on my heart for different people of different cultures. At first, I rejected the idea clinging to the misguided belief that I wasn’t “one of those called to missions.” Soon I realized that all believers are called to missions, it’s how we obey that differentiates us. My first “mission trip” (or trip specifically designated to serving others) was to New Orleans with my youth group. We went to a children’s home in a sketchy part of town to do renovations. I’ll never forget the look on their faces when they realized that we were there, just for them.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
I have also had the privilege to serve in Mexico and on various local trips in these last few years. Just five minutes down the road from my upscale downtown office is a whole mile of various homeless shelters and resource centers. I love spending time down there. I love the reality that I don’t have to go far to find people in need. I have lived through trying times, but presently God has blessed my husband and I with an undeserving abundance. I fear getting comfortable. I fear that amidst all the luxury I might lose myself in my own self-centeredness.
“We have not shown the world another way of doing life. Christians pretty much live like everybody else; they just sprinkle a little Jesus in along the way.” (Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution)
Now I must clarify, we are just as responsible for those in our present, local community as we are for those in other countries. There are needs just down the street that ought to burden our hearts just as deep as those overseas. But I believe both levels of commitment are essential; committing to a lifestyle of love and grace, serving at your local shelters and donating to local charities. But also committing to life of servitude, one that calls you outside of your comfort zone, outside of the cultures and people you’re familiar with, and into a new place of need.
So I will leave you with a challenge: seek opportunities to love beyond yourself. Get outside of what feels comfortable, do something for someone in need, make a sacrifice. And then see what happens. I promise you won’t be disappointed.