Sunday, July 25, 2010

With Arms High and Heart Abandoned

Tim spoke today about serving others.

Today after lunch, Chris and I were approached by a lady.  She told us about being new in town with two small children and not having money for power, food, etc.  She talked to us for about 5 minutes and then asked us if there was anything we could do to help her.

I will not share what we did because this isn't about pat on the back or shame on the Averys. 

I guess my bottom line is, how do we know?  How do we know if these people are scamming us?  How do we know if they are seriously facing difficulties?

We don't.

It can be very hard to serve when the world has caused us to become so jaded.

I remember getting sooo angry when I was in Prague and seeing supposedly one-legged beggars SWITCH their "missing" appendage by tucking it under their bodies just so.  Chris said there are people who come by the church and have worked the system of churches in town trying to scam money.

Chris and I talked about the situation the whole way home.  It's so sad that we didn't know whether to believe the woman or not, and we weren't really sure if we did the right thing.

We decided that, at the end of the day, it's really not up to us to choose whether or not someone is lying to us.  That judgement will be handled by the Lord.

However, if and when we have been given resources to help, then we should help.

Period.

And sometimes that is not fun nor convenient.

And sometimes I choose to and sometimes I choose not to--and I'm just being 100% honest.

Sometimes I'm too scared--scared that I'm going to get hurt or taken advantage of.

Scared that they could want something more than just a meal or a few dollars.

There has to be a happy medium--a place where it's ok to help but with caution.

Even typing that makes me feel badly for being cautious.

Shame on me.

I sing things like, "I'll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned" but then 2 hours later I get worried about being "safe."

Please know I've never claimed to be a perfect person and I've certainly got my share of faults.  I am just like most of you--struggling with issues and things that keep me from being my personal best.  I'm working on my issues and if you are someone that is planning on judging me for this post, please let me save you the time and say, "Yes, you're right.  I'm a minister's wife and I'm not perfect.  I'm sorry and I'll try to do better next time."

I want to be as transparent as possible on my blog.

I tend to lay my opinions and thoughts out there--it's just a "bonus" (or "minus") of being a friend of mine.  I'm either going to say it out loud or my face will say it for me.  People tend to like me or dislike me for my frankness, and I'm coming to terms with that as well.

So, major fear in my world--there is a part of me that is SCARED TO DEATH about what it will really cost to follow Christ.  Will it cost me my security?  My home?  My job?  My family?  My life?  There's a part of me that clings desperately to the little bubble I live in.  My safety net.

I think it's ok to be concerned, but not ok to worry to the point it paralyzes me and prevents me from doing the right thing.

And, I'll admit, I was scared of this lady today.  My thoughts were so worried--for my safety and the safety of my family.  Her lack of respect for personal space when speaking with me.  I didn't know what to do.  I didn't know if I believed her.

So, what will we be willing to give up?

Are we really all ready to give up EVERYTHING for the sake of Christ?

Do we mean it? 

We want to believe we mean it.  And I think we have good intentions, but when the rubber meets the road, will we stand for the challenge or run and hide?  Lindsay and Jill have written on this before--the ease to praise and follow Jesus when everything is just fine.

But, what happens when your world is upside down?

Then what?

Will we have the ability to stand and honestly sing about having abandoned hearts?

Will I?

I hope so.

But I'm a work in progress.

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