Friday, June 28, 2013

Paradox

Eric and I oversee our church's Love Department, a special needs ministry that has been in place at our church for 25 years.  25 YEARS our church has reached out to adults with various disabilities!  Each week we spend our Sunday mornings with individuals who are so excited to be at church.  They love to worship, color pictures, have Sunday School lessons, and give and get hugs from one another.  It is so touching to see them interact with one another and truly care for each other.  I rarely get through a Sunday without having wet eyes.

You see, Eric is an ordained minister.  Up until April of last year he was an associate minister and worked in a church full-time.  While it was not the worst job in the world, and in fact very rewarding at times, it was a period of time where our eyes were opened up to the underbelly of church life.  We saw it all and some of it was some of the ugliest, most loveless, Christ-less, situations ever.  The politics, the fighting, bickering, arguing, nastiness, etc...  It was draining just walking into that building sometimes.  And while that was true of that church, I want to emphasize that there ARE great, Bible believing churches out there.  You just need to use wisdom and discernment to find them.

But now.

But now I walk into our current church where we are merely volunteers.  There are no elders breathing down our necks.  No church members telling us how to dress our children.  No chains!  We walk into our current church home and are surrounded with some very wonderful adults who love all people without prejudice.  They see the world vastly different than you and I.  They are there to "see Jesus".

Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children."  Luke 18:16

The Kingdom certainly belongs to my special friends.  They see things so innocently...they worship with abandon and love with all that they have.  Eric and I are so grateful to be serving them each week.  There is no bickering, no ugliness, no judgmental attitudes, no unkind words.  I think I hear people say, "I love you" more on Sunday mornings than any other day of the week!

On the last Sunday of every month we have "Doughnut Sunday".  To my special friends it is like having Christmas once a month.  They love it!  We also take the time to recognize the Birthdays that have taken place throughout the month and we sing Happy Birthday to everyone.  Oh what a happy Sunday "Doughnut Sunday" is!

At the same time, however, each week there is a very real and sad realization that lingers in the back of my mind.  There are millions of adults just like my special friends who are locked away...treated like animals.  As I sit among my special friends and worship with them my heart also aches.  They know the Lord.  They know the name of Jesus. Millions just like them do not.  There are probably just as many children like Dima and Channah who are also locked away without the hope of Jesus Christ.  Channah IS currently living without the hope of Christ in her life.  There are many others in even worse conditions just barely hanging on, tied to their cribs and have rats and insects crawl over them.  When I stop and think about that very real scenario my heart is sickened.  How can people allow this to happen?  Though the answer comes easily to me in that we live in a fallen world, I also know that we, the church, are to do something about it.

Don't excuse yourself by saying, "Look, we didn't know."  For God understands all hearts, and He sees you.  He who guards your soul knows you knew.  He will repay all people as their actions deserve.  Proverbs 24:12

But what?  How?

I honestly do not have a quick answer but I know that each person is called to something different.  For our family, we have been called to adopt two children with special needs (Dima and Channah) and serve the Love Department.  Other families are called to leave everything they have here in the States are are to serve such people where they are in their suffering.  Other families financially sponsor a child on a monthly basis.

So let me ask you.....what are YOU called to do?  Adopt?  Foster?  Pray for people?  Serve in your local church body?  Serve in your community?  Go on the mission field?  If your eyes have been opened, you cannot pretend you do not see.  Doesn't that make it so you live in a paradox?  Here in the United States it is the "land of plenty" and dare I even say excess.  Are there times when your heart twinges to help?

I know that I live in a paradox and can no longer just idly sit and allow the world to pass me by.  That all change drastically for our family over two years ago when we found Dima.  And now...Channah.

When did your life reveal the paradox existence?  I would love to hear how the Lord has opened your eyes.

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