Sunday, June 20, 2010

Heartbroken

Last night I read a Caring Bridge update that broke my heart. Someone I’ve known for 8 years is dying of cancer.  Her husband wrote that she has stopped treatment and took a turn for the worse last week.  We met at ECFE years ago.  They moved to a different school district so we don’t see each other much.  We did not have a natural connection.  Our beliefs and ideals could not have been farther apart, but I liked her a lot. 

I just read Crazy Love by Francis Chan (and you should read it too!).  It talks about loving people like Jesus does.  He tells how he and his wife downsized their home so they could give more.  And about a family that instead of opening Christmas gifts, takes food to the homeless on Christmas morning.  At first, I didn’t think I was all that challenged by the book.  I thought about a lot of people that should read that book, but didn’t really think it was all that pertinent to me.  How much more could I give?  We are in full-time ministry.  I go to church and teach Vacation Bible School.

Until I read about my friend.  I was convicted.  Did I love her like Jesus?  Did I do enough?  Or did I just try not to offend her or try to make excuses for why I live the way I do.  Now she’s sick.  I’ve had eight years to love her and I haven’t done it.

So I do need to Crazy Love.  I need to be challenged to give more and do more.  I need to love those who hurt me.  I want to reach out to people that have nothing, people that can’t give back.  I should desire to share Jesus with everyone because I have no idea how long any of us really have. 

It would be easy to look at my life and figure I give enough.  I give more than some people.  But God has called me to love like Him.  Do you know anyone who has nothing? Someone that is truly lonely?  It is stunning to realize that I don’t or maybe I’m just not looking because I’m so busy running around living MY life.  I’ve got emails to check and laundry to do and kids to chase after. 

Last night my heart was really heavy thinking about my friend and all the time I’ve spent chasing stupid, frivolous things in this life.  Today we had the opportunity to have some young people in our home that are hurting.  Mike invited them because they recently lost their father.  I didn’t think they would come but they did.  They were tattooed, nervous, had to step outside to have a smoke – not the usual people we have over.  Normally I would feel awkward and annoyed.  But tonight I was thrilled.  This is exactly what God is showing me.  There are people right around me that need the love of Jesus. His love was enough to give His life for each of us and I’m not willing to give up a lot of things I value. 

He’s showing me that I need to spend more time focusing on eternity and less on this world.  I want to radically live and love like Jesus.  I need to pray for God to show me people in my life that are needy.  Sometimes it is hidden or not noticeable at the frenzied pace I run.  I don’t want to read about anyone else I know that is dying and wonder why I didn’t take the opportunity to love them.

What are you doing to help you focus on eternity?  To love like Jesus?  To focus less on our comfort and more on the needs of others?  To think less about what we want and more about what others need? 

2 comments:

Bonny said...

I love you Michelle!

mamabear said...

Praise God for what he's done in your heart! To be excited about having teenagers over (that smoke) is definitely a Jesus thing. Definitely the perspective God wants us to have. It doesn't take much effort to help those we already love or have something in common with, or that look and live like us.

I look forward to reading the book. Thank you!