I was going to write a light-hearted post about how the last two weeks of school have gone for James, about witty remarks and so on, but then I realized, as I typed on my MacBook Pro in the comfort of my furnished home, with clean drinking water at my right hand, a gainfully employed and loving husband at my left, a full stomach and a leisurely 3 day weekend awaiting in the morning, that that isn’t what we need to be talking about.
Don’t misunderstand me, orphan care is IMPORTANT, and that our child is learning to thrive and receive love and know what it means to have absolute loss redeemed into something wonderful is A MIRACLE. God’s hand is ALL OVER the hot mess that is now our family dynamic, and there is certainly a time and place for the day to day to be shared.
But right now, there is some unacceptable, disgusting, horrible STUFF going on in the world, and I am all too aware of how my very life style laughs in the face of that reality.
Children are being horribly abused in orphanages and homes around the world, but I daily give more thought to whether a cow led a satisfactory life before it became my burger (animals > people). Men and women are being slaughtered around the world for their beliefs, but OH MY GOSH did you see who just dumped clean drinking water on their head for that disease that—OOOH there’s a fail compilation (entertainment > human life). There are coups and incursions and kidnappings and hate crimes and famines and outbreaks but WHY can’t a person CRAP in the clean, convenient lavatory of THEIR choosing, gender be damned (.3% of the US population >the rest of the world)? WHY can’t I check Facebook messages on my PHONE anymore? WHY doesn’t everyone else think Battlestar Gallactica is the best show ever? WHY are our biggest first-world concerns often about drivel?
I spend my time and effort worrying about animals and things and passing garbage instead of PEOPLE and loving Christ. Sure, people and Jesus are way up there on my list, but they are nowhere near as close to the top as they ought to be. And sure, animals and other things are important to varying degrees, but shouldn’t human beings be higher on the “give-a-rats” chain? Why in the WORLD does this not bother me THIS much ALL of the time?
Next time I am spending my time and resources on nonsense that doesn’t eternally matter in such a way that it leaves less room for the important things, I pray that you will call me out. Brothers and sisters (if you are a believer, I’m talking to you), we need to call each other out. We need to daily wrangle our petty desires and make them subservient to our greater purpose. I don’t know exactly how to make this work, or how to stir others to join me in actively rising to the occasion, but I am sure that by listening to the older and wiser, spending more time in the Word and in active prayer, God will work this thing out in us. I am terrified of reaching the end of my days and knowing in my heart that I could have done more, I should have done more, and I didn’t.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matt. 25:23
Have I been good and faithful??
Working hard and getting it right won’t secure my place in heaven; that is simply not how it works. Jesus already paid the price and only by believing in Him can any one of us be reckoned as righteous. So this intense desire and fear is not driven by the misconception that I must or can earn my way, but rather by the depth of the gratitude that I feel for being pulled from the pit when I was still utterly sinful and wretched. How can I waste such a beautiful gift, the MOST beautiful gift, by holding it to my chest and focusing my eyes on minutia? This is what must be shared with the hurting, the misled, the angry, the hateful, the sorrowful, the broken and the weak; that our hope is built on something far greater, something far lovelier and something far more just than anything found on the earth. Are we sharing that?
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'” Luke 18:13