Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday's Meditation: A Boss Your Heart Message

At this very moment, my husband and 13-year-old daughter are flying across the world to Ukraine.  Stop reading here for a minute and go down a little further to read the devo that Kirsten Walkup wrote for the blog today (posted below).  I'll continue my thoughts below, just after the devo by Kirsten.

The Nobodies
by Kirsten Walkup

Last week a major news organization ran an article titled “The Nobodies”. The Nobodies referred to 1,639 individuals in Los Angeles County whose unclaimed bodies were disposed of by mass-cremation. These people were individuals who had no other person in their lives who would claim their bodies to give them a proper burial. The Nobodies' lives were of such little consequence to society, that many of their birthplaces, ages, and even names, will forever remain unknown. They will not be missed by anyone, their memories will not live on through their loved ones, and had it not been for the (very short) article written about them, very few would have even known that they ever existed. They are the lone and forgotten of society; the homeless, the invalids, the elderly, the lonely. While the vast majority of The Nobodies were homeless people off the streets, there were more than a few who died at home alone, or in car wrecks, with no family or friends to speak for them.

After reading this article I sat and thought for awhile, and I wondered just how many “Nobodies” I passed by everyday without giving them the slightest thought. I started to question things.  How many neighbors do I have that might fit this description? Even though the company I work for is small, there are people who come and go every day with whom I’ve never even spoken. Do any of these people live in an utterly desolate world surrounded by a mute sea of humanity? Do I even care enough to find out? Have I constructed my white, upper middle-class, suburbia lifestyle in such a fashion that I come in contact with as few of these types of Nobodies as possible?

As I sat and thought about each of these questions, I realized that there were no easy answers to them. I’m a Christian, and it’s my job to care about everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from. I am to demonstrate God’s love with all those I come into contact with, and be ready to show the Nobodies that they are someone to Jesus Christ. Sadly, I feel that my efforts in that regard often fall woefully short of what they should be. While I do care about people and would never intentionally give someone the impression that they are less than important to God, the pace at which my life runs, my career, and my own insecurities regarding my ability to communicate likely override any concern I may have for the person standing right next to me. I’m perfectly comfortable serving in various ministry capacities as long as it’s on my own terms and in the timing I choose. But I wonder how many I pass by on a daily basis who desperately need a relationship with Jesus Christ, yet don’t quite fit into my neatly compartmentalized world.

In Luke 15:1-7, Jesus sat around with a group of outcasts and shared a story, “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them. Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

 This story tells me that heaven rejoices more over one Nobody coming to Christ more than it does over an entire church congregation coming together on Sunday morning to bless the blessed. I know that the thing I must do is to train my heart to remove the blinders and focus on things that do not necessarily have direct correlation to my set schedule. The people who are important and matter to God are the very same who have slipped through society’s cracks, they are the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son, the Nobodies. This season as we celebrate the incomprehensible gift that God gave the world when He sent His Son to live among us, let us remember that this same Son would later give His life so that these Nobodies could have salvation.

Boss Your Heart!

OK, so I'm back now.   Thank you for reading Kirsten's devo.  When I first read it, I couldn't help but think about all of the Nobodies who are orphans around the world.  147+ million orphans, Nobodies.  That's why I'm OK with Matt and Mattie flying around the world without me or the rest of my kiddos.  They are going to let many Nobodies know that they matter to Jesus.  They are going to bring two Nobodies into our family to change their lives, and our lives, forever.  No longer will Vlad and Dima be Nobodies.  They will be Pattersons.  Praise God for redemption.  Jesus sets the Nobodies, the lonely, in families.  (Psalm 68)

"I will not leave you as orphans, I will come for you."  John 14:18.

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