Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Unlikely Prophet

We've all seen a man at the liquor store beggin' for your change
The hair on his face is dirty, dread-locked, and full of mange
He asks a man for what he could spare, with shame in his eyes
"Get a job you *&$#% slob," is all he replies
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to sing the blues

Then you really might know what it's like...
Then you really might know what it's like...
Then you really might know what it's like...
Then you really might know what it's like...

Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom that said he was in love
He said, "Don't worry about a thing, baby doll
I'm the man you've been dreaming of."
But 3 months later he say he won't date her or return her calls
And she swear, "*&%$#@, if I find that man I'm cuttin' off his *&%$$#."
And then she heads for the clinic and
she gets some static walking through the door
They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner
And they call her a whore
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to choose

~Everlast, "What It's Like"

Jesus knows what it's like.

The King of the Universe became a servant who was mocked and beaten and crucified. He in whom there was no sin, became sin. For us. To make us able to be with him and like him. Yet instead of loving like Jesus, this rap song accurately describes the shameful way I've thought at times about my fellow traveler. Yet, if truth be told, I am the begger and the whore.

Compassion. Kindness. Cleansing. We are all desperately in need of the good news: Jesus knows what it's like.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Between the Rock and a Hard Heart

I just finished reading The Hole in our Gospel. I don't know where the book came from--I didn't buy it--or what initially motivated me to pull it from my bookshelf, but I know that it is another tool to wake me from my stupor and make me a disciple.

"Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God." ~Bob Pierce

I want to change the world but my life keeps getting in the way. Between schooling and laundry and co-op and housekeeping and piano I often feel like I can't breathe let alone make a difference. And deep in my soul I know that something's wrong with this picture.

Many people feel that what I do every day for my husband and my children is my mission field, but I'm just not comfortable with that. Or maybe I'm too comfortable with that. I just don't think it involves enough risk. We live in a safe spot, a nice place with good food and cushy couches where we talk a lot about Jesus, but somehow He is missing in the majority of our daily life because, frankly, we aren't engaged in anything that tests our faith or makes us any different than the nice atheist folks next door. We go to church every week and sponsor a child in a third-world country. We don't swear or beat our children. So what?

Christianity should be radical. Jesus made some rather outrageous statements:

"Leave the dead bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:60)

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)

"Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me." (Mark 10:21)

What am I involved in that has even an inkling of this sort of devotion?

I want to live a missional life characterized by radically living out the gospel in word and deed. I want my children to see the hands and feet of Jesus extended from our lives, not just read about missionaries in far away places. I want them to care more about the things Jesus cares about than computer games and Lego sets or the rules and regulations of "good Christians." And yet here I sit, paralyzed by fear and lack of motivation.

How can I love my neighbor? How can I change the world? Only when the gospel permeates my life. I need to eat the body of Christ and have it ooze out of me like when I eat lots of garlic! But this cannot happen when I choose to gorge myself on the stuff that makes me nothing more than "nice." The gospel is for the nations, for my community, and for me. And I need Him desperately so that others also might know.