Should We Look Away or Act?
In Answering the Call to stay on Mission, I shared my weariness in the distractions that I have allowed to enter into my heart. The truth is that I have allowed the things of this world to get in the way of my calling. And through these distractions, a constant barrage of discouragement from tragedy and critical rhetoric has entered in. My heart breaks daily for the violence and the hate that is always in our face. What comes first the violence or the hate? It seems like a revolving door. A person commits a questionable or even violent act and then our reaction spurs hate against an action (and subsequently a person) that we cannot reconcile.
My prayers to my Father look like this: “Lord, why? Must I see this? Do I have to hear this? Do I have to read this? Why does this enter into my neat and happy little life? Can I turn off the hurt of this world? Turn off the news, turn off the media feed, if I don’t hear it, if I don’t read it, does that mean it never happened?”
But I am praying to love as The Lord loves, I am praying to see through His eyes and to love with His heart. We sing the lyrics "Break my heart for what breaks yours." So, why shouldn’t I see these things? It is in fact what He sees everyday. He sees the man who walks into a movie theatre and takes the life of unsuspecting patrons. He sees the grief from the aftermath of a hate-inspired night-club shooting. He sees the sniper who targets police officers. He sees the man who is unfairly targeted for the color of his skin. He sees the 12 year old girl who is sold to the highest bidder. He sees the wife who is hiding the bruises from the night before. He sees the tears of the young mother who cannot feed her baby in her poverty. He sees the heartbreak of the mom who is struggling with the loss of a child. He sees the boy who is being bullied at school.
WHY SHOULD I NOT SEE THESE THINGS?
The better question I should ask is, “What can I do? What should I do?”
What would Jesus do?
Psalm 107:20 says “He sent out his word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.” Who is them? Prior to this, the Psalmist tells us “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story. Those He redeemed from the hand of the foe, those He gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. Some wandered in desert wastelands. . . they were hungry and thirsty, their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress.”
They cried out to Him. Can you imagine what the cries of creation sound like to
their Creator? My heart hurts for our Father in this moment. He blessed us with free will, we allowed sin to enter in and the result is the suffering of those lost in the darkness. The result is the suffering of the innocent.
In the moment when I allow myself to think, “How could a loving God allow this to happen?” I have to remember how we got here in the first place. Once upon a time there was a garden with a serpent and a lie. We bought the lie, sin entered in and our loving Father has spent every day since drawing us to Him, healing the hurt from the result of sin, reminding us of His truth and pouring out His love and grace.
I HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT HIS LOVE IS REPAIRING THAT WHICH WAS DESTROYED. I HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT HE HEARS THEIR CRIES AND DELIVERS THEM FROM THEIR DISTRESS.
So, if He is the Deliverer, do I stand still? Do I watch? Do I ignore? What does He call us to do? WHAT CAN I DO?
The day I began praying to see through His eyes, I had no idea what I was asking. I had no idea the heartbreak that would ensue. It is a heavy prayer, but can I share that it is the prayer that has opened my eyes? Yes, I am moved. Yes, I am heart broken.
Yes, I am moved, but to what? I am moved to action.
We can’t stand still! He calls us all to action!
He calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Matthew 22:39
He calls us to look after the orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
He calls us to give to the poor. Luke 12:33
He calls us to be dressed and ready for service. Luke 12:35
He calls us to forgive. Matthew 6:14
He calls us to pray. Luke 11
He calls us to let our light shine. Matthew 5:16
And as a reminder from my previous post, He promises that when we are weak He is strong. He doesn’t expect us to carry these out on our own, but He comes alongside and loves through us, serves with us, prays with us. "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3 And we have the honor to be a conduit to this great love!
This is the crux of the matter, God delivers us and He loves through us. But we have to be willing participants. We have to be moved to action. And this isn’t a call to cure all of the ills of the world. We are called to love one person at a time. The Good Samaritan didn’t dismiss the man on the road in wait for a bigger opportunity to serve. No, he served one man with the hands he had at the very moment he was given opportunity.
We are all given opportunity. God places people in our path everyday who are hurting, who need to know His love. And His love flows through us into every person that we encounter and encourage. Jesus teaches in Matthew 25 that when we give the hungry something to eat, we give the thirsty something to drink, we invite in the stranger, we clothe those in need, we look after the sick and we visit the prisoner, “Whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do for me.” (Matthew 25:40 paraphrased)
Jesus began a movement 2000+ years ago and called us to come alongside. He gave us each the opportunity to be written into His story of redemption and grace, but we must answer the call. We must act, take His Hand and allow Him to love through us!
My heart is awakened, will you join me?
Father, help us to love as you love. Help us to see others as you see them. Pour into us Your heart so we can face the hurt of this world and allow you to heal through our heart and our hands. Please forgive us for our critical reactions and give us a spirit of action always in love. Help us to pray, send Your Holy Spirit to intercede for us when we feel helpless and don’t know what to pray. We thank You Lord that when we are weak You are strong. Help us to stay strong in You until the end.
In Jesus’ Name