Whether you realize it or not, there are people struggling all over the world today. People starving, people dying from diseases, people lost and lonely, people abused. As followers of Christ we have a responsibility to reach out to those people and help them with the love and power of Jesus Christ. To have compassion on them, like Jesus had compassion on us.
Sometimes I am blind to these things as well. I drive past homeless people downtown, I hear about the atrocities around this world. But do I stop? Do I pray for these people? Honestly the answer is no. Last Monday though I had a chance to go down to a Community Center for a homework assignment. God though really used this homework assignment to show me the real need we have in our community. This is just an excerpt from my homework assignment.
Before I visited, I envisioned the time being good and enjoyable. I had been down to this community center one other time, last year around Christmas with a group of people and it was great. I expected to see a lot of teaching going on during my visit, whether it was through a game or a conversation. I knew these kids were being taken care of and loved on, when their parents couldn’t necessarily do that. So on a Monday afternoon I walked through the door and it was pretty quiet. I was expecting excitement and kids running and screaming but there was none of that going on. I got a chance to sit down with the head person, Mrs. Williams and find out more about the center. Apparently, Mondays are one of their slower days and on Mondays the kids get professional tutoring. I went to the gym and one boy was shooting some baskets. He was a seven year old named Bubba. I and he played for a little while. He was laughing constantly and thoroughly enjoying himself. Soon a few more boys his age joined and we were all playing basketball. I looked down on the other side of the gym and saw a boy playing by himself, so I went down to that end of the gym and began to play basketball with him. T.J. was throwing the basketball with both hands under the ball with a swinging motion, called a “granny shot.” Most other venues I would have been embarrassed to look so silly why playing basketball but this time I didn’t care. I was making this kid’s day and I and T.J. were having a blast. Soon though another kid, Carter, came and wanted to throw the football. So I left T.J. and began to throw the football with Carter but then T.J. came back and wanted to kick a kickball back and forth. So I would throw the football with Carter and then turn around and kick the ball to T.J. to make both kids happy. I left exhausted though but happy that I could make a kid’s day. When I got home I reflected on what had just occurred for the past few hours. I was surprised to see this much need in my own community. These kids were just begging to be loved. They were asking for acceptance. They just wanted someone to care about them and take the time to kick a ball back and forth with them. They just wanted someone to play basketball with. These kids were not bad kids; they were just thrown into these bad home situations. They didn’t deserve to be in these situations. It also made me realize that more volunteers are definitely needed, not just at the Shaw Center, but at tons of other centers around this community. Mrs. Williams had said there were only four full time staff and only twelve “solid” volunteers. So I am taking this to my bible study group to share with them the need and the responsibility that we have in pouring into these kids lives each week. The more volunteers the more that each kid or teen is loved. Everyone has a role in this, our role is to serve.
Jesus came and hung out with the sick and the needy, the sinners and the tax collectors, the lowliest of the lowly. Isn’t it about time that we sucked up our pride and went into our communities with the living, breathing word of Jesus Christ? God has definitely opened up my eyes to this need in my community. Now I pray that all of you reading this will search your hearts and think of the ways you can provide love to the needy in your communities, whether it be financially or just your time. Maybe some of you will even adopt. I believe it is the Father’s will, that all of the children of the world feel loved.
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Then He called a child to Him and had him stand among them. “I assure you,” He said, “unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one child like this in My name welcomes Me.” (Matthew 18:1-5)
We are children of God, we are beloved. It is time to show the world how beloved they are by God the Father as well. It is time to open up our eyes and see the needs, the hurts, the pains, that we try so hard to block out. God has called each and every one of us to share His gospel, His good news with the world. Just like Nehemiah said in Nehemiah 4, to fight for your countrymen and your wives and your children, as the Lord your God is fighting for you. I would be in a grave right now if others would not have fought for me, so I know this makes a difference. I know the love of Christ is the most fulfilling, most hopeful thing to bring any person in this world and it will truly change their lives.
We as children of God have been set free. Now it is our job to go share that same freedom with those in chains. We are to show them the forgiving love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and all the hope and purpose that He brings. So get up, go out, in the strength of Jesus Christ, shows others His freedom and His
Have a blessed day,