“Become a Christian counselor and bring Christ to those who need Him most!” That’s what the advertisement said. Under the add was a picture of a man. He was dirty and dressed in rags. As I stared at the add, the thought came to me: “…to those who need him most? As if some need Him more than others?”
At times it can seem that there is an unspoken rule that says we need to go feed the homeless or work in an orphanage in another country, and if we have done those things we have reached out to those who need Him most. We’ve stepped out of our “comfort zone”.
Who needs Him most?
- The wealthy man who wears designer clothes and lives in a mansion, or the man who wears rags and lives on the street?
- The orphan in a foreign country, or the child sleeping in my own home?
Who deserves the most recognition in the church?
- The person who feeds the homeless and shares the gospel, or the person who meets the wealthy man for dinner and shares the gospel?
- The person who raises support and spends the summer changing diapers in an orphanage, or the mother who spends her days changing diapers in her home?
Is it comfortable or easy to serve others and share the gospel in any of these situations? Is it really ever EASY to serve others and share the gospel? Is the homeless man more receptive than the wealthy man? The orphan more receptive than my own child? Maybe it’s a little simpler than we make it!
What I am finding is this: I wake up and step out. That’s it.
It is never easy or comfortable. God prepares hearts. God directs my steps. As I rely on Him, God gives me words to say. God gives assignments for each day. He asks me to meet needs in many different ways. I look to Him and offer Him my day, my comfort, my ease. The mission might be different each day, or it might stay the same for long periods of time. It might mean I go to another country, or it might mean I go to the mall. One day, I may have a person stop by my house who needs to be pointed to the cross. The next day, I may stop and pray in the grocery store parking lot with one of the cashiers we’ve befriended.
Not too long ago I found myself sitting in a clinic with a precious young friend who is being tested for HIV. This was my assignment for the day. There we sat: Me, my husband, our friend. Sobered by the consequences of sin. Surrounded by young people who were all there for the same reason.
All of us needful of the same thing. None of us better than another. All of us in need of a Savior.
I didn’t think about that place as being “out of my comfort zone” or as an opportunity for recognition. I just thought, “So THIS was my assignment today…”
- If I can sit in that clinic and think that these people are more needful than I am.
- If I can sit in my home and think that the person to whom I’m serving coffee is more needful than I am.
- If I can stand in the grocery store parking lot and think that the cashier is more needful than I am….then I don’t know the truth about myself, and I don’t understand the gospel!
I must view myself as a fallen sinner who has rebelled against a perfect and all-powerful Creator. That is the truth about who I am. That is the truth about all of us. Because of this truth, we must see our need for the crucified and risen Messiah who came to earth and conquered sin and death. He is our only hope for salvation. That is the bottom line concerning every human soul.
It doesn’t matter what the outside looks like: polished and acceptable or dirty and unacceptable. The outside is merely a shell…a symptom of the need that is deep within every heart. We all need forgiveness. We all need a Savior.
Whether it is at my kitchen table or at the clinic with my friend, it is a privilege to go wherever God wants me to go. I need no recognition. I am not doing anything that special. I am just doing what I have been called to do.