Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Don't Call Us Saints

When speaking with friends, sharing of my life on the border and my plans to return, I'm commonly greeted with a similar response.

"Wow, that's so awesome. I could never do that..."

. . .

The Burmese jungles and refugee camps really aren't for everyone. I get that. But the refugees who are living there don't really want to be there either. They'd really rather have their families alive and intact, living in their villages away from all the war and destruction. Nobody really wants the situation to be like this. But it is. It's not a question of how comfortable we can be. But if my brothers and sisters are living in such conditions, I don't see why I should think I deserve better.

There are ways to serve our brothers and sisters in America, in Africa, and even in Southeast Asia that aren't quite as rugged or uncomfortable as my own adventures. Not everyone has to do what I do. But this response from people reveals to me that their first priority is not "How can I help those who need it? How can I Love my neighbor?", but a more carnal question, "Where can I be comfortable?".

That question is the frontier that designates whether your life is more about you or more about others. Sadly, we find ourselves in the midst of a Christian culture that's always asking the latter first, and only asking the former question after comfort has been taken care of, if ever.

And if your life is dictated by comfort, you're likely to never meet many refugees. You're likely to never meet the homeless, the hungry, the slaves. You're likely to never meet YESHUA.

So when someone tells you about their encounters with Him, don't ask yourself if that's too uncomfortable for you. Ask yourself, and ask them, how you can get in on some of that action.

I'm tired of people telling me that I'm a great person for doing what I do. I'm not a great person. I don't have a big heart. It's just that when I lay comfort aside and meet YESHUA in the refugees and the homeless, I find that I can't help but Love Him. I can't help but Love them. I'm not a saint. I'm nothing that you couldn't be. If you tell me that I'm great for my sacrifices, but that you couldn't do them, you're missing the point. You're robbing yourself of the Kingdom.

Dorothy Day must have had the same frustrations when she proclaimed,
"Don't call us saintswe don't want to be dismissed that easily”