“I left him four months ago.”
I don’t know how much of it is real, but the Lord has led me to talk and pray with M several times while doing street evangelism. Her life is incredibly broken, marked by abusive relationships and disease and too many children left to fend for themselves while their mother tries to beg a few dollars.
Women like M make me want to curl up and weep. I cannot fix her problems, and so I want to run away. I have none of her problems, and so I feel a sense of shame. But still I sit with my legs politely folded as she updates me: how she might be getting housing soon, how she’s so excited (she then proceeds to pull out photos of her children). And I give her a dollar and encourage her and then our group pulls her into our circle for prayer and hymn singing.
It’s a crazy, weird experience to sit across the table from a fellow human being, a neighbor, a sister citizen whose life is polar opposite to mine. I have had nothing but blessing and privilege. I haven’t had to walk to the end of the street. I haven’t had to stop short at the end of the line. I have been unusually gifted with the leisure to work two jobs, study the Word, do my laundry in the room down the hall and debate Amyraldism while sighing to Tasha the Roommate about how much still needs to get done in order to pass Systematic Theology and move on to next semester.
Everything is a matter of perspective. I can’t wonder why or be embarrassed about how God has worked in my life, but it’s sure hard to look up and down the street in Chicago without being slapped by the bracing, biting truth that sin has had its way in the world, in man’s heart, and in the way Satan has defeated so many. I, however, have been rescued from much and given too much and am undeserving of it all.
God calls us to steward what we’ve been given. Matthew 25:14-30 reveals this reality playing out among servants who have each been entrusted with different amounts of riches. Their master goes away on a journey and expects to find a return on the gifts and to see how the servants demonstrated skillful living within that. I want to be a good and faithful servant, but I have to realize the assets I’ve been given to accomplish what God has called me to do! Not only do I have his Spirit living within me to help me and to guide, this incomparably great power who enables me to say “No” to ungodliness (Titus 2:12), but I have been blessed with riches: a theological education, a dear family, financial resources, giftedness….the list continues.
When I am confronted with the brokenness in this harsh world, I don’t have to shrink back and be ashamed that I am not broken. Feeling embarrassed that I have been made whole is an improper response to the lost. Rather, I need to praise God for what he’s done and grab a megaphone to tell others that God can fix, hope is real, and new hearts are here for the taking by the blood of the Lamb. My blessings, physical and otherwise, are to be used to accomplish this purpose, which is not to insulate myself and feel guilty toward the unbeliever but to extend the Word and say, “I was blind but now I see…and you can, too.”
You can, too.