This morning I can’t help but think of the tens of thousands who are searching for a homeland that isn’t blowing up around them, a place where they can eat and learn and grow and just, maybe, live. I can’t help but think of the thousands who never make it there. And the one little boy who has become the picture of a breaking world in crisis.
Maybe you have seen 3-year old Aylan’s body lying on a beach a world away. If not, I am posting it here so you can. I debated. It is graphic. It is disturbing. You might be offended. I hope you will be offended.
Because Church we better be disturbed. We need to take offense at what offends God’s heart.
A little boy was just looking to find a safe shore and a warm home. But he didn’t, not this side of eternity.
Neither did his mom or his brother. They, along with thousands have perished this year alone fleeing violence and deep pervasive poverty in Africa and the Middle East.
Dear Church, we need to be offended by that. We need to be upset. And then we need to do something.
Pray. Give. Prepare a spare room. Partner with places like World Relief. Write our government officials. Look at the pictures and read the stories that are bothersome and graphic and alarming and let them provoke our hearts to seek God’s heart.
Because He saw every wet strand of hair on Aylan’s head as he lay on that beach in the picture above.
Yes, it’s complex. Yes, it’s messy. And dare I say, Aylan may not have been black, but his life mattered too.
Dear Church let us not be so preoccupied with our programs, or fascinated with fringe doctrines like nephaliim agendas*, or chasing celebrities and status, or focused on the next bigger, deeper spiritual pursuit we miss the most important pursuit of all. To live this one life from the center of God’s heart. To see like He sees. To love like He loves.
We can be fond of what Jesus would do and give lip service to Him, or we can be found in the middle of His call to see, to hear, to not turn away from a desperate world waiting to be welcomed in.
Fond has never changed anything. It is a weak, insipid, archaic word. But there is one little letter that can change fond into something that is earth-shaking: U. Becoming so consumed by God’s love and heart you will say yes to anything He whispers.
Jesus’ agape love isn’t some ethereal frequency or new age energy* to tap into for our own enlightenment, it is the gritty reality of laying our lives down for one another every day. Laying our comfort down to serve the drifting and the hurting, the unlovely and the misunderstood. Love costs something.
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?”
– Isa 58:6-7
Then God brings healing to our land and His light breaks forth in the darkness.
What is Jesus asking you to partner with Him in, that this world lost in crisis and need and pain might be foUnd? One life at a time.
* If you are wondering what I am referring to above, you probably have yet to encounter some of the fringe, gnostic doctrines that have been creeping in to certain places of Christendom. I am so, so saddened by the deception and distraction I see so many falling into.
It is one of the deepest prayers of my heart that once again Jesus would be the most perfect reality we who say we follow Him could ever seek in terms of supernatural experience. In Jesus all of the power, purpose and promise heaven is found and apart from Him, seeking spiritual power and purpose is witchcraft, not prophetic maturity.