Wednesday, January 19, 2011

That's my Abigail

Take a look at the video above before reading.  It will make more sense if you do.

The first time I saw this video I cried for 10 minutes.  Nonstop- couldn't have if I wanted to.  It crushed me.  Frankly, it still does.  I have a hard time watching it now without breaking down. I will get to why in a minute.

God puts certain people on this earth at certain times to champion a message.  Think about how the prophets came at just the right time with the right message from God, and how Israel responded.  Eric Ludy, I believe, is one of them.  Looking past the music and his ability to speak, the message he brings here is what is important.  His message is about Life, and how people are important.  People we have never met.  Children we have never met.  We are important.

The first time I saw this video, God spoke to me.  Similar to Eric Ludy, which is weird, but I think in a more powerful way.  God's question for me was "What if that was Abigail?"  At that point, I broke down.  There is nothing I would not do to get her back.  To be honest, if I had to kill someone to get her back, I would.  That is how strongly I feel.  So when God asked me this,  it was crushing.  I can relate to "calling everyone I know; doing anything I can" that he expresses here.  Because I would.

God poked me with this so I could get a glimpse of how much he loves us, how much he loves me.  He knows how I feel about my daughter.  How much pain and hurt there is that she is not here-how I would just about do anything to see her again today.  It was his way of saying "That's how I feel about everyone..."  We are important.  These kids are important.  Mr. Ludy is correct that we live indifferent to what happens around the world.  It really doesn't affect you or I if a child sleeps alone without a family, or for that matter, starves to death in another country. It should, but it doesn't. 

If we really are followers of Christ, we should do what Christ would do, right?  Christ is clear on taking care of widows and orphans.  It's not ambiguous- there's really no grey area.  James 1:27 says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after ophans and widows in their distress..."  Psalm 68:5 says "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling."  Zachariah 7:10 states "Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor."  If God is the father to the fatherless, and we are the body of Christ (which is God, by the way), shouldn't we be the fathers to the fatherless?  That's not ambiguous to me- thats a clear command from your Creator.

People that sit around and wait on God to tell them what to do are not really paying attention.  He already has.  No where in the Bible does it say to wait to do something you are commanded.  It's one thing to wait on him when it is not real clear in the Bible, such as who to marry.  Such as what line of occupation should I follow.  Those are two examples that are not directly addressed specific to each of us in the Word.  However, we are all addressed when it says to take care of orphans, widows, and the poor.  You are addressed already.  You have been commanded already.  I have been commanded already.  What are you waiting for?  He is not going to put it in neon lights for you.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Are we too fat and happy?

I have been away from the blog for a few days because everyone in my house is sick, except me.  I think Brandy has been away from hers as well, so just bear with her.  Hopefully she will beat this bug eventually, and be back to her normal self. 

I have witnessed something in the last couple of days that has given me pause to think.  For 2 nights in a row, I had to go to the store late to get something for Brandy to help her feel better.  Both times I went to the same store, and saw the same employee working there.  And both times I walked out shaking my head at the lack of respect this person gives to customers. 

I don't really want to single out this person, because I don't think it's their fault.  Just a teenager (at least I think) working a job that makes $7-10 hour trying to make some money for whatever reason.  It wasn't the person at all, but the attitude that caught me off guard.  The entitled attitude she offered just bothered me.  And I have seen it everywhere.  Go into a gas station, a fast food restaurant, a grocery store, wherever- and you see it.  People bothered by helping other people.  I am an inconvience to someone else's time.  Having an "you are an inconvience to me" attitude.  It really bothers me. 

Part of it is the fact that someone should be working hard if they are getting paid, and should be grateful for the opportunity to make some money.  That much is obvious, and it really gets under my skin when an employee is rude to a customer because I used to be a manager at a restaurant and wouldn't put up with it.  But the bigger problem is that we don't look at each other as important, and don't think it is important to help each other.  That was what really bothered me. 

I hear all the time on the radio how we used to be a Christian nation and we need to get back to our Christian heritage, and how all the founding fathers were Christian, blah, blah, blah...  I have my own opinions about this that don't really match up with that, but I digress.  I do agree with them on some aspect of this idea though.  One attribute I do wish we would get back to is genuine respect for each other, and genuine kindness toward each other.   In the South where I am, every one is "so nice" to each other.  Most, if not all, of it is fake.  Holding doors for people- learned behavior.  Taking food to new neighbors- being nosy. There are plenty of other examples I could come up with.  I sound kind of harsh here, but hear me out.  These are not attributes of genuine kindness.  These are nice things, but not back breakers.  Not something that makes or breaks you as a person.  Buying food for a homeless man and spending time with him- that's a back breaker.  That's a tough one.  That's genuine kindness.  And that is exactly what Jesus would do. 

I walked out shaking my head because this employee exemplified how we all act toward each other, how I act toward others.  Fat.  Happy. Satisfied.  Unwilling to be moved to something greater.  The opposite of how Jesus wants me to be.  I can see myself acting just like that employee.  Uncaring toward others.  But its more than that because, how I treat others doesn't start with my attitude.  It starts with my heart.  If I am not right with God, how can I be right with everyone else?  That's the real problem we face- our hearts.  We are so out of tune with our Creator, we don't even realize it.  This leads us to such coldness toward each other.  We act this way, because we don't know any other way to act.  And it's wrong. 

To bring hope and joy to others, we must first have that hope and joy. To bring courage to others, we must first have courage.  These can only be found in Jesus Christ.  The solution to the problem I have been talking about is Jesus Christ.  That's it.  There's no other way. 

We are so blessed to live in this country.  Most of us don't have to sleep outside, unless we choose to.  Most of us eat what we want.  If we are sick, we can choose to go to the doctor to get well.  There are those that don't have these choices.  That is their lot in life.  But when we act so coldly to each other, so un-Christ like, I wonder if our blessed state is a curse.