I have been so challenged this past week by “The Man In The Mirror”. A week ago this last Sunday I was hit right between the eyes with this challenge from God. To hear, believe and that walk away as if I didn’t hear and didn’t believer. I found myself asking the question, what has happened to the church? To me? This isn’t anything like Jesus looked. I have been wrestling with myself and God for a week now and tonight…tonight God put me heart to the test a second time in a week. This time I responded the way Jesus would have. A week ago, I was a pharisee.
James 1:22-25 “But be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in the mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But hte one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
What type of woman am I? The hearer who looks at himself in the mirror and as soon as I walk away I forget who I am? Or the one who hears, and does something with what I hear?
Here is where this story starts. A week ago today, last Sunday, we were lining up outside the church waiting to get our temperatures taken. It is a must here or you don’t go in. A “MAD” girl came up to me. Filthy. Stinky. Mad. I looked her in the eyes and turned around. Uncomfortable, not knowing what to do. She came up to Todd, my husband. He didn’t know what to do. My friend said, “Lets go. Don’t worry about her. Keep moving. She’s “mad”.
We walked by her and into church. Did you catch that. WE WALKED BY HER, INTO CHURCH. Ugh. What was crazy is the next hour was a time of worshipping our God for being victorious over the devil. Worshipping God for being the healer and restorer. I couldn’t worship, God was dealing with me and this was no time to have my hands in the air singing something I said I believed but didn’t put into action. So what is the big deal? Only that 200+ people also walked right by her to get into the church building.
Im not judging anyone. This isn’t about anyone other than me. As I watched and really listened to the words of the songs. People dancing, singing, hands in the air worshipping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But God was speaking to my heart. He was whispering His truths to my heart and revealing the deep parts of my heart to me and bringing me into a place that would glorify His name.
Whispering His these truths into the ears of my soul…Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” and Mark 2:17 ” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Luke 15:1-10
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Where would have Jesus been that morning? What would He have done? I think I know from the versus above and from Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;[a]
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound”
He came to sent the people free that were bound. What did I do? I walked right by a girl who was bound, went into a church and listened to worship, while I wrestled with the question, “What good is it to go to church, sing about a God who sets people free, heals the sick, casts out demons, and then walk right by someone who is bound and leave them bound. Jesus says, in Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore…”
In Matthew 10:8, Jesus tells the disciples, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers,[a] cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.” This is our command too as believers. And I walked by her. My spirit wouldn’t let me accept that this was okay to do. This isn’t how it should look. This girl should have been set free by us, 200 believers with the power of God working through us, then we should have worshipped! But how can we worship and praise a God who heals and sets free after we walked by someone who was bound and did nothing for them. I couldn’t change it. I followed the crowed. Afraid. Questions. I did nothing.
The God I serve in interested in my heart. Not perfection. Glorifying Him, not myself. So in His lovingkindness and mercy, He gave me a second chance tonight. As I was driving to the store a man was stumbling down the road. So filthy, limping, one shoe on, pants falling down, blood dripping down the side of his head. No one paid any attention. I drove past him and went to the store. My spirit working on me the whole time. What are you gonna do this time? I went and got the things I needed. I drove past where I saw him last, he was still walking. Limping, dirty, and in obvious pain. I turned on a side road and as I turned in front of him, we locked eyes. I drove away. I drove to a round about and went round. I drove back past him. Went back towards the store. My spirit wrestling with my mind. Questions, fears. I called my friend, the social worker who now works with me. She gave my advice to ask someone to talk to the man in the local language and find out what happened, to ask a motorcycle taxi, so I did. I called my boda (motorcycle) driver Ivan and asked him to come help. He was right where this guy was last seen. But now, I couldn’t find him. I drove all around and couldn’t see him walking anywhere. Then, I spotted him, on the ground, passed out it seemed.
We found out he was beaten so bad, drunk. Stinky so stinky. Bleeding. I could have gotten drunk off his breath. But he needed help and this is what we are called to be, the hands and feet of Christ. So we loaded him into my car. Yup, did I mention he smelled bad! We brought him to a local hospital. The doctor there was in the “theatre” operating room and they had no idea when he would be done. So, we loaded him back up in the car, with the help of some construction workers and drove to a different clinic. They looked him over and decided it was too serious of a case for them. So they transferred us to another hospital. The one where my friends baby almost died. I was so scared to bring him there, but I prayed and asked the great physician to heal this man so we could make sure He knows God and that God knows him.
Well, he is resting on the bed, medicated, drunk and so stinky. One shoe on, one shoe missing and pants that no longer even button, bloody shirt and writhing with pain. We decide to try to find his auntie in the village so she can come. After two hours of looking we came up empty and went back to the hospital to check on him. He is stable. Im thankful. He should recover. He needs Jesus. Please pray for him. God loves him. Hurt people try to cover up their pain in so many ways. His story is heartbreaking as he shared with us. So many here have nothing. No food. No shelter. No way to bathe. I just can’t hardly take it some days. Next to him, a baby 6 months, blocked intestine, heading for surgery and 8pm. I prayed for him with the momma. He will be fine. I have to believe that. The hospitals here are so far behind the United States, but they do their best.
Then I look to the next bed. They are packed side by side. No private rooms, no personal space. Just enough room for the doctors to move between beds. They pack as many as they can into a space because they only have so much room. In the very next bed is a woman badly off. Next to her another woman badly off. Car accident. Compound leg fracture, bone sticking out, flesh torn from the cheek of the first woman and the skin missing from the forehead of the second woman, supersficial, she will heal. Broken bones, missing flesh, whip lash, pain emotional and physical. Ivan and I pray for them one by one. Next to these two women, a third one, motorcycle accident. Bike tire blew. Exhaust burn on her leg. We prayed for her too.
I got light headed and knew I had to leave before I passed out. I don’t do well with blood and the adrenaline kept me steady for a time but I could feel it was wearing off and I had to get out before I needed a bed myself. I hurried as fast as I could out of the hospital and just sat against the building and took some deep breaths.
The drunk guy. He started talking. Ivan shared about what happened, how he got the hospital, how I picked him up. Tears. Tears ran down his face as he thanked me for helping him. This is why. So we can tell him God loves him. When he was a little boy he didn’t dream of becoming a drunk person, who wouldn’t have food to eat, work to do or anyone to care for him. That was never in his “dream” book. But it did become his reality. We are going to love on him and try to restore his hope that God created him for a purpose. Loves Him. Died for him. We want to seem him restored, and loving people to Jesus!
Church, Body of Christ. If we don’t do what Jesus did. Help those Jesus helped, what good does it do to have the same spirit in us that raised Jesus from the dead? I am challenged. I have to do what I see I believe. James 2:18 says, “But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” I want a living and active faith. One that takes me outside the church walls, into the streets. To the tables of the hurting, to the homes of the lost, to the drinking circles of the men who no longer have hope, to the teen girls who are pregnant and the “mad” people walking the streets. I want to be who God made me to be when He saved me. I don’t just want to sing about what God did, I want to be a vessel God can use to prove to the world, He is who He said He is. He still does what He said He would do. He is as powerful today as He was back then. He never changes. “He is the same yesterday, today and forever” Hebrews 13:8
So, I am exhausted. It is 1:08am. I couldn’t sleep. I had to write this story and share it. Pray for me. Pray I have the courage to be, to do, to move. To do what Jesus would do. To help the least of these, the lost, broken, homeless, imprisoned, bound, demon possessed people, and watch Jesus set them free as I am obedient to do what He has called me to do, as His disciple.
Please pray for these five individuals in the hospital tonight with emergencies. Pray for their families. I invited them to bible study. Pray they come. We can heal our wounds on the outside and still be dirty with sin on the inside and we want to make sure that God is able to clean both the inside and outside. We trust God to move in their hearts and bring them to the table to learn about who He is.
God is good all the time. Be his heart, His hands, His feet, His voice, every where you go. Don’t be afraid to go where the hurting and despised are. It is where He went. I think He wouldn’t have walked into the church that day. I think He would have set that beautiful girl free, took her to get something to eat. Washed her up, gave her some new clothes and would have just loved on her, as she was now in her right mind and healed physically, emotionally and spiritually. I want Him to change the world through me. Lord set my heart on fire for the lost. Give me the heart to live out Isaiah 61 and Matthew 28.
Jesus you set me free, freely I was given, help me to freely give. In Jesus precious name I pray. Amen.