Thursday, August 21, 2008

growing cold to the need in the world

I had a conversation with one of my roommates last night about the incredible need that we are surrounded by everyday in our own city. We don't live in a culture that has the same kind of poverty as some of the third world countries, but do have people who are poor and homeless according the basic standard of living here.

My job gives me the privilege of seeing this need in my own community everyday. When I first started this job, my heart broke every time I walked or drove past the people waiting to come into our building for a meal or a cup of coffee or just some care. But, I noticed over time that I stopped having my heart broken by it. I eventually got to the point where I didn't even really see these people anymore. I had grown cold to it because it had become normal to me. When I realized this, I was quite horrified. I mean really . . . how can you get to the point where you don't see people in need? How could I be one of those people who just walks by and doesn't have my heart broken by the incredible need? I asked God to change my heart from what it had grown cold to. I didn't want this to be the case. God took me seriously when I prayed this prayer. He definitely broke my heart through a series of circumstances. Probably the hardest part of God breaking my heart for these people again was that He did it by bringing someone who I had known growing up into that place of need and me seeing that. This was someone who was more than another face on the street that I walked past. This was someone that I knew. But, as my roommate and I were talking last night I realized that God has answered that prayer I had prayed - that my heart would break with the things that broke His heart. It's not an easy place to live, but it's a place I would rather live.

I don't think we can really take seriously Jesus' call to look after the poor and those in need without our hearts being broken by the things that break His heart. And since Jesus talks in Matthew 25 about what we do for the least of these, we do for Him" we should be seeking to do just that. We should be helping out the least among us those - those in need.

Social justice . . . helping those in need . . . that is what we are called to. How are we - the church as a whole, world-wide - doing at living out this calling? How are you doing at living this in your own life on an individual level?

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