He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Who Is My Neighbor?

As I pulled into the ministry building parking lot, I noticed a little boy who seems to have dropped all of his school papers on the ground. You remember those days? Where you are walking home carrying like 50 books and 10 folders with loose leaf paper in them, and then it happens, your fingers slip and all of your belongings go flying everywhere (at least they did in Chicago-windy city) Uh,hello,embarrassing!! This young boy just sat on the ground struggling quickly to place them all back into his folder. There was another younger boy just standing by watching the kid clean his mess,then he begins to walk away. I made eye contact with Him as I was driving in the gate to park and I begin to ask Him, " Hey, aren't you going to help ya friend?" The little boy looked at me and says, "NO MAM' ,He aint no friend of mine, I dont even kno HIM"..I looked at the young boy on the ground who finally got his things together and he begin to stand up and walk away.

I just sat in my car and thought about the parable of the Good Samaritan. How many times have I left my neighbor along side the road and because he/she doesn't fit my liken, or apart of my inner circle, I have left him to fend for himself? I TOO didn't go and help this young boy..why? (which is so sad)because as I pulled into the ministry parking lot, there where 100 other kids running around with issues too and I just got overwhelmed looking at it all and decided to do nothing, because..it was too much and I am tired. I'm still convicted even as I write this post.

In his new book (that you may not find on the Internet because I purchased it at the CCDA Conference) Who Is My Neighbor?-Lesson From A Man Left For Dead, Wayne Gordon shares 30 years of experience in urban ministry,Gods faithfulness and what He has learned about loving his neighbor. In his book, one of the things he shares is that our neighbor is someone who appears on our paths. A lot of times I am praying and asking God to show me how to love those around me, and then it happens, I begin to see MANY needs, many problems, many people who are hurting and need to fill loved. You don't have to look to hard. Its an overwhelming view from where I am sitting.

Well, what I am learning from reading this book, is that we can at times, which I do....a LOT, feel so burdened by the problems of this world that, we feel paralyzed (which I do at times) unable to help, or act because we CANT DO everything, so we end up not doing anything at all.(this is me at times) Coach Gordon shows us how the Good Samaritan story can function as a source of comfort. Let me tell you how.

It helps us to realize that we are NOT responsible for solving all the world's problems, thus freeing us to act when we have the opportunity. Who are our neighbors? Our neighbors as he said are those who appear on our paths, thus giving us a chance to help them. This chapter was of great comfort to me, because I am such a problem solver at times and so when things seem crazy I'm always trying to think of a plan to help everyone, and a LOT of times I fall on my face, because it was never meant for me to do. Wayne says we must not feel guilty for not doing what we cant do, but simply trying to do what we can (through the Lords provision of course) We are not SUPERMAN!(and neither is superman,superman--thats JESUS TITLE! lol) Instead of being overwhelmed by problems we cannot solve we need to pay attention to those people and those opportunities God has placed on our paths. Ya'll this is me. I am such a visionary, I will sit down and come up with how I need to help so and so and do so and so, then I am depressed because it's too much, when the LORD has not called me to do half of what I was trying to do.(remember being spirit led and not need driven)

Questions to ask self posted from Coach Gordon; Who are the people God allows you the privilege of coming into contact with on a regular basis? Those people are your neighbors. It's that simple. They don't have to live on the same block,neighborhood,or next door. They could be children or families in another part of the city or world.I am called to love them when I have the opportunity and God is pleased with that.

Main Point: Once we are freed of the burden of feeling that we have to solve all the of the hoods problems (or world) we are better able to notice the opportunities that surround us. We experience the joy of serving others.

God is so good y'all. I really am encouraged and feel so refreshed to look amongst my family, and neighborhood and see the opportunities the LORD has put aside for me and only me. I pray I steward this thing well for the Kingdom and HIS GLORY!