Sometimes I hear so many stories of the hurting- so many stories of orphans and the broken. Stories of slavery, stories of war, stories of the lasting consequences of last year’s big natural disaster.
I see so many pictures- row upon row of brown little faces on my screen- and my heart breaks.
I feel helpless, and I wonder how God sees every one of these faces and takes it.
I know He is God and can do anything, but I feel incapable of doing anything in the grand scheme of things, and my heart just wants to look away and let God take care of it. I know I can’t handle it.
It sometimes feels like I have mercy paralysis.
The worldwide internet brings a whole new level of opening our eyes to injustice.
Seeing all the broken, the hungry, the hurting makes my heart wants to go do something big- to change the world for Jesus.
I cried out to God about all these faces- and my incapability- my paralysis.
How can I do anything when there are so many in need, God?
And then He showed me.
In the midst of seeing all these little faces on my screen, I’ve been forgetting to see the face of the hurting walking down the street.
I forget to see the face of the single mom who has no family and no extra money at the grocery store.
I lose sight of the lonely widow in the apartment across the road from me.
I am willing to do so much to change the world- but what am I doing to change the world around me?
The broken, the hurting, the hungry- are right here in my neighborhood.
Am I willing to show mercy to the ones who need it right here where I am?
Am I willing to open more than my wallet? Am I willing to open my home to the poor, the lonely, and the sick?
God, give me more than generous hands to give away. Give me generous arms to open and embrace the broken like you did.
Change my world- right here where you’ve placed me. Help me to know who and where and when I am to help.
Jesus, take my money. Lord God, take my home, and make it yours.
Help me to see the hurting and welcome them in to my life and heart, because that’s what you did.
Take my precious holidays that I hold so dear to my heart, and make them for your glory.
Help me to invite in someone who specifically needs your love this year. Help me to give away more than money or food- help me to share your love with them.
When I hold a feast, God, let me invite in the broken- those who are desperately in need of you.
Don’t let me be paralyzed by all the faces on my screen.
Give me specific ones to whom I can show your love. Let me start where I am. To be faithful with little first.
Lord, change my heart to be yours. To lose myself and my desires for my own life. Please change lives wherever you place me. May your Spirit be known by all who see me, God.
Help me to share my feast.
God, if it’s your will, open the hearts of others to do the same- to minister your Spirit to the hurting, and help them to invite them into their hearts and lives right where they are.
Last fall, God wrecked me with these verses:
He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:12-14
Did you realize we are holding feasts this season?
Who are these feasts for?
Are they for ourselves?
Or could they be used for the glory of God?
What better way to show the love of Jesus firsthand- open your heart- your home to the broken.
Last year I offered you a challenge, and I want to ask you again:
Invite someone you wouldn't normally invite to your feast this year.
Share your feast with someone who doesn't have a loving and living home.
Be Jesus to the poor and the needy right where you are.
Show them- show them the love of Jesus firsthand by loving them and welcoming them into your life. Money doesn't change people's lives. Free food doesn't change people's lives. Jesus does. And He wants to do it through us.
When we open our homes to the poor, and welcome them into our lives with love, we are displaying the hope that is in us- seeing them like Jesus saw them and us both- broken, and in need of a Savior.
Will it be strange? I'm guessing it will be. It's not easy to change what we know, and inviting someone different than us may challenge our families and feel awkward at first.
We love the comfort of the familiar. But isn't that the most dangerous thing? Our comfort? This world is not our home- we have to be careful not to make life here more important than the life that is to come.
Imagine what can happen when we share the Gospel in person, with the lost, and when we give up our most precious holidays for someone else? What will that show them?
This is something anyone can do- no special skills or talents required, and that extra mouth can be fed at your table for very little. And you know God will provide the means.
Open your arms to someone who needs it this year- use the gifts you've been given to share the love of Jesus with others- this is what biblical homemaking is really about. It's about being the light in the darkness- the city on a hill- to those around you. Your home is your city- a place of your ministry of hope in Christ. What a sweet opportunity to share what we've been given with others!
You can make a difference, even under the roof of your own home.
Love others. Show them the grace you’ve been given. Welcome someone in with open arms this season.
Will you prayerfully consider this challenge with me?