Your donations will support me, a Hope Team member, as I minister serve among the homeless and hurting in Louisville, KY.
(here is a glimpse from last year; I will update my thoughts soon!)
Jesse, our director, was speaking to the Hope team after lunch, speaking of how disciplined lives are lives of excellence, lives in better pursuit of a goal. My thoughts went to a conglomeration of inklings and half-feelings from the rest of the week—
*when living in simple community in the inner city was discussed—But that’s hard. I want to live in a clean neighborhood. And a new house. Have that nice kitchen.
*when staying in the US and sending money instead of going on a short-term mission trip was mentioned—I guess…but I’d like to see the country for myself…
*when my future is now envisioned as very low-income—But I want to be able to cook a lot and buy the food I like…and live in the country and own horses…I want the freedom to have choices.
I did not realize these thoughts were in my heart until prodded out by direct address. I never thought I would be content to live in suburbia. I never believed I would choose comfort over love. Terror overtakes me to think that every day I choose comfort over love, my “dreams” instead of God’s own heart.
I pray my heart continues to break over the people of the shelter.
John Graham seems worse each day. His appearance is as haggard as the homeless stereotype. Mentally, he digresses. He speaks of God and Christ, seemingly paranoid that there are demons and armies eager to seize his assurance.
I speak to Mara daily, and therefore, part of myself is given to her in prayer, thoughts, and concern. A few days ago, she was suspended from the shelter.
Andrea dates a man who is currently in jail. He is a two-timer, treats her poorly, and yet she waits eagerly and longingly for the mail.
Terror overtakes me to think that every day, I choose comfort over love. I tell you this to break your heart. Because my sin breaks mine, yet not often enough.
You do know, right, that there was a man who in every way, was as genuine a man as possible. Not our stereotypes, but rather, the epitome. The same was true of that woman, back then, in the time in which they lived. Aye, it is true. These creatures had the God-breath, the very image of their Creator. They walked with Him, as with a friend, a counselor, a Lord.
But there was a serpent. Not only in the garden, but penetrating into each of their hearts. They lusted after the power of God, the knowledge He possesses, and His position. They slapped God in the face by eating the forbidden fruit. Eating what was never theirs. Breaking the rule made from love. (Choose to not eat this, and you choose to love Me)
They had children, in pain.
They ate bread, through toil.
And their descendants did the same, while doing evil continuously.
(Here is a story to break your heart. Are you willing?)
There was a time after this time into which God became flesh. Came to earth to bind up the wounded, and heal the broken-hearted. Came to earth to.... yes, it is true. To die for the ones who rebelled. (Romans 5:8 accounts, "but God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us") And die He did. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!" (Psalm 22:1) The perfect Son bearing the awful weight of sin, our rebellion, our sin. How dark can it get?
And yet it gets darker.
Each day we choose to deny this sacrifice.
Surely goodness and mercy has followed me all the days of my life. The curtain was torn from top to bottom?! The separation between God and man was reconciled. (“You shall be called the repairer of the breach” Isaiah 58:12)
The good news? The good news?! That our debt, our sin is paid for. You and I, we are of Christ. We died on that cursed tree! We died a death with Christ that conquered death, because we are raised to newness of life that we might walk in Him! Glory be. Lay our burdens down at that tree, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. What does it merit a man who gains the whole world and yet forfeits his soul?! Ay Dios, this is why we live and move and have being. This is the reason we love. We love because He first loved us!!! We live amongst the unlovable, be they our family, friends, or enemies, and we love them because we are unlovable. And yet, our fellowship has been restored with the One who created us and gives us meaning! Santificado sea Tú nombre. (Hallowed be Your name)
May I find my love for this Savior growing stronger. May I find that my selfish, rebellious thoughts (and desires) lessen, and are replaced with those of my Lord. May we all rest in the knowledge that this great tragedy has been set right. May I learn to love my neighbor.