I once took my son to a nursing home just to walk around and visit. It was remarkable to see the way the residents brightened up when they saw a toddling one year old walk past them. Smiles crossed confused and frustrated faces. It was as if upon seeing a child these people who spend their days confined, waiting, and wandering, were for a moment healed by the joy a baby brings.
One woman even claimed my son was her grandson and took us through the halls introducing us to her friends as her own relatives. She beamed with pride that her “family” had come to visit.
That morning I had prayed for God to use us, lead us, show us someone in need.
About an hour after I prayed, this “home” popped into my mind. Quite honestly, it was the last place I wanted to go. I thought it would be awkward. But I had a feeling the Lord knew better, so we went. And how thankful I am that I trusted. (Unfortunately, there have been many more times I have not followed those promptings.) I left that place overflowing.
Here’s the deal.
Jesus shows a preference in scripture for the poor and the broken. He loves them in a special way. We see explicit instruction throughout the Bible to care for, serve, and act justly on behalf of the poor and marginalized.
As a mom, I’ve found this to be difficult. Any visions I had pre-kids of serving in a soup kitchen with babies strapped on my front and back quickly dissipated with the realities of naptimes, house keeping, and of course, safety.
But God requires obedience from us.
And do you know what else he desires for us? Joy.
Obedience and Joy: They cannot be divorced. They go hand in hand. Neither can be realized apart from the other. (Sound similar to anything you try and teach your kids?)
When we obey God we find our joy in him, and we cannot find fullness of joy in him without obedience.
Here’s a question: What kinds of things allow you to see with greater clarity the character of Jesus?
For me, it’s often a display of radical obedience for the sake of glorifying God and sharing the love of Christ. Less talk, more action.
When I see my husband discuss recovery options with a drug addict, research and draft new legislation proposals for prostituted women, or zip up a homeless man’s jacket because his hand is too crippled to do it on his own.
When I see my sister befriend and invest in an international student, eventually [leading to] the young woman’s surrender to Jesus.
When I hear of friends in another city housing a single mom and her three girls in their small apartment and working hard to help her get back on her feet.
I can’t read an adoption story without crying.
I’m floored by the humility and self-denial I’ve seen in people who love Jesus, look at his life, and simply follow suit.
This is what I want my children to experience in their home. I want them to be moved and compelled by the character of Jesus through seeing their mother live as he lived. That’s the legacy I want to leave.
So here’s the challenge.
Over the next five days let’s make a simple commitment.
Each morning ask the Lord to direct you and your children to a person who needs to be loved or an area of brokenness in your neighborhood, city, or world that could be mended with the love of Christ. Ask God to expand your family’s vision of what it means to follow Jesus, a man who loved sinners, sick, lost and the poor with reckless abandon.
Ask him to break your heart for what breaks His.
Let’s see what happens in our hearts and in our days. Let’s glorify God, enjoying him through our obedience.
Let's start small and then pray for God’s guidance and direction as we take bigger steps in faith.
Here are a few ideas of ways to love, serve, and practice generosity alongside our children:
Let's start small and then pray for God’s guidance and direction as we take bigger steps in faith. Here are a few ideas of ways to love, serve, and practice generosity alongside our children:
(Article from MomHeart.org)