Chapter 9 is unusual.
Pastor Chan lists 14 examples of God- following people.
When I say “God- following” I mean people who have sacrificed for our Lord and Savior. I mean people who have developed a lifestyle of living with little because they want little. What they have, they have given away. They have given away what they own so people who have nothing will have something.
As I write this blog I sit in a comfortable bed. Let me describe my surroundings. I am writing with my laptop in my lap [it is totally paid for]. My bedroom is clean and bright, well-lit and the air conditioner just clicked on. The house is a comfortable 72 degrees. I have a flat-screen tv about 10 feet away [all paid for] and it will furnish me with entertainment at the flick of my remote control. The bedroom is furnished with cherry bedroom furnishings, early American. My wife and I bought this bedroom ensemble about 35 years ago and it has held up well. Last year we renovated the master bathroom, spending a large sum of money to get a professional contractor to reconfigure it to my wife’s specifications. The old bathroom was nice enough but we decided we wanted more.
Why am I telling you all this?
To admit that I am far from the lady I saw on the Kroger parking lot the other day who had a poster board draped over her body. It said “I am having hard times. Please help me!”
To admit I am far from the two men I saw on the bench in front of Micah Mission Center, smoking cigarettes the other day. Homeless? Drug addicts? I don’t know.
To admit that I am far from the man and woman I saw at the Coffee Connection downtown in Hopkinsville. Down and out? Unemployed? Nowhere to go?
Why am I telling you all this?
I drove past all these people. I did not stop. I don’t know their stories because I did not ask. I just assume they are destitute because I saw them with a poster board, at Micah and at Coffee Connection.
This is the way I am.
Knowing I should help but doing nothing.
Are you with me?
Do you drive past?
Why don’t we stop and try to lend a hand? Why don’t we stop and ask a question or two?
In church Sunday, a sweet lady stood up in the 2nd service and witnessed to the whole church. She witnessed about the men from jail who helped at this year’s Taster’s Luncheon. They were “trustees” who were out of their cells for the day to bus tables and help out in other ways at our church-wide luncheon. She said that a letter was sent to one of the men thanking them for their service to our church. That inmate wrote this woman and said it was the only letter he has ever gotten in jail and it meant so much to him to help out and to be appreciated.
It was just a letter.
But it meant so much.
As she witnessed, her husband was saying beneath her witnessing voice, “We are all sinners. We have all done wrong in our lives.”
What true words.
We don’t need to look down on anyone, the man from jail, the couple at Coffee Connection, the smokers at Micah or the woman with the poster board at Kroger.
Yet we do.
We don’t connect.
We drive past.
Yes I am far from the people that Pastor Chan writes about in Chapter 9. I have my comfy life. I follow God only to a certain point. Beyond that point however, I get really anxious.
I don’t want to know him in a way that shares my excess with those who are less fortunate.
Chapter 9 is packed with lots of people who “really live that way”…they choose to sacrifice for our Lord and Savior.
They are not driving past.