They will know you are my disciples by your love for one another.
Living in the middle of suburbia makes it incredibly easy to ignore the social injustice that is all around us. I recently finished reading, "Under the Overpass." It's the true story of Mike Yankoski, a college student who decided to put his faith to the test by living on the streets of America for 5 months, homeless. It's pretty amazing to consider to 2 types of people he enocuntered on his journey. 1. The majority who dehumanized him by either ignoring him or shooing him away like a street rat. 2. The few who looked beyond his stinky, stained, broken exterior and loved him in spite of it.
I am embarassed to say that before reading this book, I would have fallen into the first category. But I am so thankful for this reminder that we are called to live like Jesus and love all people in spite of their flaws the same way he loves us. Check out this excerpt from "Under the Overpass" about a guy who earned the nickname "The Jesus Guy." Not once did this guy preach out of the bible. He earned his nickname simply by living as he was called to live and loving as he was called to love. When asked why he fed and cared for people everyone else ignored, this was his response:
"I do this because my faith tells me to. The Bible clearly says, if you see someone hungry, feed them; if you see someone naked, clothe them. Those words weren't written for us to make books and sermons about. They're written so people don't go hungry and naked. And they require action from all followers of Christ."
This man's actions earned him the nickname, "The Jesus Guy". I hate to think about what kinds of nicknames my actions would earn me. Moving forward, let's love one another as we are commanded, so that through our actions the gospel will get preached, and people might recognize us as "Jesus Guys".
Monday, January 11, 2010
As I walked along the beautiful streets of Paris a couple weeks ago, I was confronted with a harsh reality. Even this place which I had once envisioned as an upscale, flourishing city, was plagued with poverty. The travel channel will tell you about the amazing views from the top of the Eiffel Tower, the great shopping along the Champs Elysee, and the delicious cuisine. But it won't mention the bums along the river, the beggars in the metro, or the "Watch Out For PickPockets" signs that are posted at all the tourist attractions. With all of this staring me in the face and forcing me to wrestle with questions about giving to "those in need", I was reminded of an article I recently read about the ways we judge who is worthy of our charity. Check it out.