Anyone that knows me probably knows also that the Lord has put on my heart this passed year that what He would have me teach to my children (homeschooling and otherwise) is the art of being a good steward. Not only a good steward to His earth and all of His creations, but being good stewards to His people. I will have another post on this soon, it's a doozy, but this post is really working it's way into a Book Review :)
ANYWAY, I am trying this morning to explain to my boys that people are people and God created them, knew them before they were born, as they were being knitted in the womb of a mother, just as He did for me when I was growing them inside of me.
No matter the circumstances of their lives and how they have unfolded their decisions (whether good or bad) and what lay before them, they are still God's people. His creations. AND He has called us to take care of them. Every one of them. We are expected to reach out to them. The terms are clear. Simple.
How we treat others-no matter their financial situation, their clothing type, their craziness, how much they get on our nerves-will determine whether we hear "whatever you did for one of the least of these...you did for Me" (Matthew 25:40) or "whatever you did not do for one of the least of these...you did not do for Me" (Matthew 25:45)
As my comfortable life seems to be crumbling all around me, I feel the urgency to teach my children this. Seems to be really HIGH on my list of things they need to learn in this life. Now. But in order for them to learn these things, they must be taught, and their teacher (ME!) needs to give them clear examples of how to do this. I feel myself wallowing in guilt and self pity at this realization. Am I doing what needs to be done, by reaching out to others, in order to please the Lord and teach my sons? Umm, not like I should be. Humbling, for sure.
My beloved friend Ronda gave me the book entitled Under the Overpass A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America by Mike Yankoski.
I read this book last year and I recommend it to all. I dug it out of the bottom of the book basket in order to give myself the pep that was originally supposed to be given to my babies. Oh, how we learn....
A few parts of the book that stood out to me are:
"The Bible clearly says, if you see someone hungry, feed them; if you see someone naked, clothe them. Those words weren't written for us to make books and sermons about. They're written so people don't go hungry and naked. And they require action from all followers of Christ, not just the rescue missions."
Remember what Paul said in Philippians? "I have learned what it means to be content in all circumstances, whether with everything or with nothing" (Phil 4:11-12)
The author of this book said "What if I stepped out of my comfortable life with nothing but God and put my faith to test alongside of those who live with nothing every day?"
And he did it. That is what the book is about. I'm so encouraged by re-reading these parts.
NOW, this paragraph really slapped me good:
"If we are the body of Christ-and Christ came not for the healthy but the sick-we need to be fully present in the places where people are most broken. And it has to be more than just financial presence. That helps, of course. But too often money is insulation-it conveniently keeps us from ever having to come face-to-face with a man or woman whose life is in tatters."
and back to James:
"Maybe the reason so many people, Christians included, are so discontent is that we hold too elevated an idea of comfort, too grandiose a notion of pleasure. That sets us up to get frustrated by every passing circumstance. We can end up focusing more on our circumstances than on the One who ordains them"
So, I have some work to do, don't I? Don't we? I have faith. I need to live my faith.
True faith is visible.