Sunday, January 17, 2010

Welcome to the Planet (Written in India)

(I know that all two of you who follow this blog have read this already, but I wanted it to be posted here.)


Welcome to the fallout

While driving to the leper colony last week, I listened to Switchfoot's "Dare You to Move." In my mind I was merely selecting an album I hadn't listened to in a while, but it turned into much more than that.

Welcome to resistance

We came to a stop in traffic. A beggar -- no, a precious and beloved woman came to the window. She was obviously begging. Her red sari and crooked teeth didn't take me by surprise. Her leathered skin and foggy eyes weren't unusual sights. Her persistence in knocking at our window wasn't out of the ordinary.

The tension is here

But the words that hit my ears were ripping me to shreds.

The tension is here

I tried unsuccessfully to avoid making eye contact with windows of pain. This is her life.

Between who you are and who you could be

So unnerving...and I think she and I are different? One begs, another gives. But both die. Neither of us chose to be born. Who breathes without need of Christ?

Between how it is and how it should be

This isn't fair. This isn't fair. This isn't fair.

I have never felt so responsible for poverty: I looked at myself with my headphones through the window to a woman with empty hands and an emptier stomach. Dichotomy, anyone? And what about her soul -- is that empty too?

I dare you to move

Traffic continued as usual.

I dare you to move

I didn't. I couldn't.

I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor

What just happened? It had to be about more than food.

I dare you to move

But what will become of her if I ignore her need? And even if I can give to her now, she will be hungry again in a few hours, if that. She needs hope beyond all of this. She needs a Savior. So do I. Constantly.

I dare you to move - like today never happened


My heart won't cease to be raw towards every beggar I see. But as painful and uncomfortable as that is, it is given by the Lord, and I am thankful for it.

"What would Jesus do?" What did He do? He healed the sick and raised the dead. He drove out demons and played with children. But in His human form, He only interacted personally with a very small percentage of humanity. As far as we know, He passed by people that He didn't look at, He didn't get to touch everyone, and there was a lot more that He "could have" done. Or so it would seem...

But His Kingdom is not of this world.

He only did what His Father told Him to do.

And so I say, I can do nothing for these beautiful people. I cannot even do anything for myself. I can only receive and be transformed by His power into an instrument of His grace.

And His grace towards me glorifies Himself because it leaves no room for me to boast.

This is not to say that I am lowly, wretched, and worthless.

Apart from Him I can do nothing. But that is my joy! Did you hear that? The pressure is off for me to be strong enough, wise enough, brave enough, or loving enough. When I am weak, I am strong because His grace is sufficient.

He wired us to depend on Him, to live abundantly only when drinking from the Source of Life -- and that dependence is our rest, Church!

We have been crucified with Christ and we no longer live, but Christ lives in us. The life we live in the Body we live by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. (Galatians 2:20)

Praying for you all with love and brokenness and joy,

Trust in Him at all times, O people, pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge... Psalm 62:8

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