I love my cozy life. I like my routine, my schedule, and my regular trips to Panera. I look forward to my comfy bed at night and my workouts in the morning. I love sitting by my fireplace with a book when it is cold and walking with my dog when it is not. I am very content with the comfortableness of my blessed life. I live a very tidy and predictable existence--just the way I like it.
And that, my friend, is called INSULATION.
Until this morning, until I sat by my warm fireplace, after my morning workout, I thought I was doing OK with this whole God-thing. I was spending time with Him regularly, studying the Bible, listening to great music, reading good books. I was trying to walk in holiness.
Then I read the Intersect magazine that I got at church this weekend. Intersect is a publication of our church full of the God stories of its members. It is named so because it highlights the ways that God has "intersected" people's lives and changed them forever.
As I read story after story in the magazine of people's pain and hardship and suffering, I was humbled and saddened. Humbled, because these were people I knew--people I saw every week sitting in the seats beside me at Cornerstone--and I hadn't taken enough time to really get to know them so I could be an encourager during rough times. And saddened because I was so caught up in my own life--my own coziness--that I had allowed little time to minister--to even care about--these people that might mess up my tidy routine.
This realization made me look at my life and re-evaluate. And this realization made me apologize to God with wrenching sobs. I was so alarmed at myself and so ashamed for the insulation I had placed around my life. Yes, I have reached out when it has been comfortable. And I have maybe even done a few things outside of my comfort zone, but when it came to MY SCHEDULE and MY ROUTINE and MY COMFORT, I was definitely in the driver's seat--not God. I was allowing God to be my co-pilot, but not my pilot (and for those of you who know how much I dislike that bumper sticker, I hated being the embodiment of it!)
As I poured out my regret to God, I couldn't get a certain song out of my head. The song is called "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath and it just kept playing and replaying in my head. Here are the words I kept hearing:
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the one's forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
Why had I never cared about the people surrounding me each week? Why did I feign interest while shaking their hand, but secretly harbor judgment because of their sad looking face? Why did I insulate myself so effectively that I couldn’t hear their cries?
Their stories are there. In the magazine. And God has brought them victory. It’s not that I would have wanted to help them escape from the flames that threatened their lives, I just wish I had known that there was a fire. I just wish my eyes had been focused on helping and healing—on Jesus and His agenda—rather than on me and mine.
So now that I have seen the pain that my brothers and sisters have suffered, I want to keep on seeing. I want to keep on seeing with Jesus eyes and keep on showing His love. I want Him to give me His arms for the hurting ones and His heart for the ones forgotten.
I want to get a little chilly because my insulation has been ripped away. And I want to continue to hide more and more in the warm reflection of my Savior. May it be so.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’