This past week I was working at my second job, Target. I was back at the fitting room with another team member and an older lady called out for a female to help her in the fitting room, so I went back to help her. She was extremely embarrassed that she needed help, calling herself “fat and ugly,” my heart broke. I was extremely encouraging to her, and tried my hardest to lift up her spirit. After about 20 minutes of helping her fit the right fit of the clothing item she wanted, she left happier, more confident and extremely impressed that I was so kind and patient with her. A few minutes later, she came back and waved me over. With tears in her eyes she grabbed me, hugged me and thanked me for helping her. At this point, I knew I needed to pray with her. I told her I was a pastor, and asked if I could pray with her, as it turns out she has actually attended New Life before and knows a few church members. Clearly this couldn’t have been by accident but a divine appointment. I did get to pray with her and one of my co-workers overheard everything and was blown away by the love and compassion that was showed to this lady. That also opened up a door for me to tell her about my pastor job and how New Life is different from the Lutheran church she occasionally attends.
I tell you this story because it’s too often that we as Christians walk through life with blinders on our eyes. We don’t want to look at the other people around us, we just want to be with the people we know, do the things we’ve always done and live our happy little Christian lives. But there’s a huge problem with that mindset, that’s not what Jesus modeled for us to do. He intentionally went around looking for the people the rest of the world shut out, and welcomed them in. He didn’t look at someone’s messy life, scoff and think “I’ll help them when they figure things out.” He got involved in the lives of those we were hurting, sick, and angry, and when we left them, they were changed forever.
Jesus ate with sinners, He spent time in their homes, not concerned with becoming dirty Himself, but knowing that He was going to make a forever impact on whoever He was with. Remember when Jesus called Zacchaeus out, and told him He was staying at his house? Zacchaeus was corrupt, but after an experience with Jesus, he left a changed man. At the end of this short story, Jesus said something profound, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) Jesus didn’t sit in one place waiting for the sinners to come to Him so He could save them, He intentionally found them. He sought them out, He was the best “seeker” in the game hide and seek there ever was. Nothing could stop Jesus from finding the lost, it was His mission, His purpose! Jesus never had blinders on, He saw everyone’s hurt, pain, sickness and sin, and did all He could it rescue them from it. I love the last verse of the Gospel of John, “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:25) We don’t even know everything Jesus did while He was on Earth, we just know it was amazing!
Shouldn’t it be the same for us today? After all, we are walking around with all the power Jesus had inside of us through the Holy Spirit. We should intentionally look for those who are hurting, lost, confused, sad, angry and anything else to show them the life changing love of Jesus. Our world is hungry for this type of love. It’s our job to remove the blinders and stop being afraid of getting involved in people’s messy lives. It’s time for us to be uncomfortable but walk out in faith knowing we are world changers! We are called to live and love how Jesus did! Let remember Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” and live this way every day!
New Life - Bismarck