Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dangerous friends

I have friends who have homeless people for friends, volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center and do all sorts of other good in our community. Those friends inspire me and challenge me. I think part of me wishes we'd stop getting close to them. They take risks and do dangerous things. Too bad that Theo and I really like them and they keep teaching us more ways to love people. They love Jesus and that love spills out onto everyone around them.

It's easy to just feel guilty and try to justify all that we have. We are pretty good stewards of our money and Theo works very hard. We give a good percentage of our money to charities and missions. But I'm no longer worrying about those justifications.

We are blessed. We are richly and lovingly blessed. When I move past the guilt and the justification, I am becoming joyfully grateful for what we've been given. It's okay for us to enjoy it. But I will not close myself off from the world and revel in my riches. There's a whole world that He died to save and I've been busy hiding from as many of them as possible.

It's starting to sink in that Jesus really meant for us to do those things He mentioned. We are supposed to take care of the poor (amongst other tasks) and not sit around and wait for the government or some other organization to do it for us. It is affecting my heart and therefore starting to change more of my outward behavior. An example of that is illustrated in my Bowl of Rice post.

Then it rained the other day. It rained really hard. It was cold, dreary and the most rain I've seen in a long time. Normally, I would have only thought about how we were going to have to stay inside the whole day.

But something new struck me. I had images of people stuck out in that rain, huddled down in the cold dreariness with nowhere else to go. My gratefulness welled up and I thanked God for the blessing of our water-proof shelter and prayed for the people represented by those mental images.

I posted my thankfulness in a status update and my dangerous friend mentioned visiting his less fortunate friends and needing to check in on them. Theo and I finally had a chance to discuss it today. We have plans to send some money to our friend's ministry to help buy some tarps. (Pretty soon, we are going to have to meet some of these friends.) We were casually having this conversation at lunch with the children present. We've had a lot more talk about homelessness and hunger lately.

We finished our lunch and started to clean up. John disappeared. He's not generally a fan of cleaning up. When he returned, I asked where he'd been. He held out his hand with some wadded up dollar bills and said, "Here, I want to give this to the poor people."

I've been crying off and on, ever since. My John who's need for security based on his early life experiences, causes him to hang on to material possessions and obsess about food and to never fully trust in our love as his parents, brought the money he works so hard to attain with a look of tender compassion on his face. As we change and become more generous, as our hearts melt for Christ, his does too. A lesson I've tried for years to instill in him sprouts dramatically when I begin to finally practice what I preach.

Want to see some of the friends of my friends who John wants to help? godsjester.net


Mary said...

Wow. What a blessing!

JeniferRiddle said...

I like being called "dangerous", makes me feel ... dangerous? Something anyway.

You are too kind with your words and John is just amazing. You see the way you are raising them? That's the way it's supposed to happen.

Jen B. said...

<3 You and T are such great parents. Because of your love J has the opportunity to become the young man he was meant to be.

godsjester.net said...

How could I possibly reply to such outrageous lies! I'm an egomaniac inpatient, opinionated jerk saved from myself by Jesus alone and I'll not be slandered as otherwise!!

But thank you for propagating the myth.