Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I choose to be uncomfortable.

I am comfortable.  I look around at my home and the things I own and the food we eat- there is really nothing I need.  Oh sure- there are things that I want, things I desire…. But nothing I really need.  I would venture to say this is true of so many of us- especially in the church here in the United States.  We drink our overpriced lattes; complain about long lines at the supermarket, service at a restaurant not being as good as what we paid for. When we get uncomfortable at church or it no longer “meets my needs” we find a new one.  

Tragedy in our world strikes my face book feed when a famous comedian/actor commits suicide. 
As I have sat the past few days looking over how my face book feed has blown up by the death of a famous person none of us knew but most have enjoyed watching I am stricken by disparity of the world we live in and the comfort ability of our nation.  Very few people acknowledge the 500 people killed (women and children buried alive) in Iraq because they have different religious beliefs than the majority.  People have fled their homes to the mountains (if they were able) and those who were not have stayed and died.  Those people are not comfortable.

Over 400 innocent children have died in the past month in Palestine because of a war in Gaza.  I understand the side Israel takes- and I understand that with Terrorists there are no rules.  But 400 lives of innocent children are 400 lives to many to pay the price of “peace.”  This touches close to home because we sponsor a 5 year old boy who lives in West Jerusalem/Gaza.  We have prayed for him for the past month not knowing if he’s alive or how his family is surviving.  My kids ask, “Are they still at war?  Why are they still at war?”  I have no answers.

Then there’s the Ebola outbreak and crisis in Africa with the most people dying from this outbreak than any other.  There’s the crisis in Ukraine.  Here at home I counseled a woman last week who was on the verge of being homeless with nowhere to turn.

Yet- here I sit from the comfort on my home, drinking my coffee, sad because a comedic icon is dead.  I am reminded of a story I heard once of a father and son walking on the beach.  The beach was scattered with jelly fish and as they walked the father picked up a jelly fish and threw it back into the ocean.  He kept going picking up jellyfish and throwing them back into the ocean.  The son asked, “Why are you doing that?  There are too many, you can’t help them all.  In the realm of things it doesn’t matter.”  The father replied as he picked up another jelly fish and threw it back into the waves, “It mattered to that one.”

You see I don’t want to be comfortable.  I can’t do anything about the Ebola Virus, the religious genocide in Iraq, the crisis in Ukraine, the children dying in Palestine.  But I can refuse to be comfortable.  I can keep in fervent prayer for our world that desperately needs peace, hope, joy and freedom.  The answer lies only in Jesus Christ.  I can choose to remember and spread the word.  I can decide to change my perspective and instead of mourning a famous person, my heart grieves for the loss of life all around the world.  My heart grieves for my sponsored child in Palestine and the things he has experienced and seen in his short little life.
I can’t fix the world- but I can start serving God here where I am.  I can get up from my lazy comfortable surroundings and be uncomfortable at church serving kids.  I just read a story of a woman who gave up lattes for a year so she could sponsor a child overseas.  I can quit whining about the things I want but don’t have- knowing full well how blessed I truly am. 

When I look at the world it all seems so hopeless.  I can get bogged down by the massive amount of work to be done and in so doing stop doing anything and just be comfortable.  But- you see- one life matters.  Here at home, in Iraq, Ukraine, parts of Africa.  What I do matters to Kinan a five year old living in war torn Gaza.  I choose to be uncomfortable so that people may know Christ and experience freedom, hope, love and joy.  Will you?

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