I know I should prepare myself “better” for the circumstances I encounter but for whatever reason I don’t so I guess I should not be ashamed or surprised when I run into one that causes me to come to tears.
This week there have been more than a few.Last night a young man shared at our fellowship the following scriptures Isaiah 58:6-9. He read from the Message and I share that below.
“This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
I know that some of considered me a soft touch. Tina does. My wife and I could not put a number on how many have roomed with us, slept on a couch or anything of that sort. Ex-cons, cheats and scoundrels in some cases. How many times I would let her know I was bringing a friend home. (Translation: I met them today-they are hungry and I want to feed them.) I invited the poor into our homes. It is always odd to me when someone is not staying in our home!
This morning I read about a young person I know who felt so strongly judged she could not return to a church yet. I have met others that are the same. I want them all to be able to just hear “Jesus loves you and so do I!” I want them to know that we judge the righteousness that is found in them.
I want to be part of the move that raises up people to judge rightly (righteousness) and who get rid of the mixture of old covenant with the new. God never turned away from the broken, from the lost or the homeless. He never set conditions of righteousness upon them. So often I have seen the cheers as a former stripper, prostitute or drug addict gave their testimony in a church fellowship only to be the ones judge the young woman or man whom have been involved in intimacy outside of marriage or drugs in the street. My heart breaks for the single parent who perhaps made earlier unhealthy choices. I have cried over the hospital beds and coffins of drug addicted men and women. I have watched the pain of sickness and disease take away loved ones and friends.
I asked God to make me more like Him. I am sure I have asked it a lot. And then I find myself broken over something and I remember the request. Over the years I got my share of “Judas’” and those that wanted to stone me. I find myself I good company. Yesterday a friend shared how “upset” she was a number of years ago to see a charcoal sketch of Jesus laughing. I have a picture of Jesus laughing. My sister once visited and asked me why I had a picture of Bob Marley. Not everyone gets His loving ways or His desires of goodness over us. Somehow, even if we believe He laughs we think we have to do the rough stuff for Him or something.
I am a sucker for Him. I am a sucker for the broken and busted.
The last few weeks all I find myself thinking about is helping them be changed.