Friday, July 4, 2014

Being the Hands and Heart of Christ by Christie Smith

I love my garden. I love taking care of it everyday...the watering, fertilizing, weeding. But today, the thought occurred to me, "You can't just plant a garden and leave it and expect it to grow and flourish. It would dry up and be chocked out by all the weeds." I know, I know...pretty elementary. But then I thought, "How many times do we do that to relationships and situations in our lives?" We just expect them to flourish and grow with no work on our parts. But our lives are flawed. We are flawed. No matter how hard we try to live day-by-day in His will, we mess up and the weeds of sin take root. And just as in our earthly gardens, those weeds will take over unless we tend to them. We have to pull sin out by the roots. We have to nourish our lives and relationships with the Living Water. And we have to be thankful for the soil which supples the nutrition for the harvest. There's a big difference between dirt and soil. Too often we label the mundane, everyday chores of our lives as "dirt" when in reality, it's in these tasks that God prepares us for the bloom.  

This world will never be what we want it to be. Our relationships will never be everything we want them to be. Yet even God did work to fix the situation. His relationship with His children was broken. His creation was in trouble and needed help.  But Jesus didn't just sit up in Heaven with God watching the whole debacle, discussing theologically what should be done. He put on flesh and bones and did the work.

How will things ever get better? How will my relationship with them ever be fixed? How will the conflict ever be resolved? How will the suffering ever end? How will children dying of starvation in another country ever get fed? How will women if abused ever find a place to go? How will girls ever be rescued from the slavery of prostitution? 

Jesus became our example when He put on flesh and bones and placed Himself in the middle of the question and then walked the answer. 

Take the most heart-wrenching questions of your life—sin, loneliness, broken dreams, shattered lives - those are the questions Jesus came into the world to answer. And He still answers those questions today through us. We are the answer of Jesus to a world that is broken, hurting, and lost. We are His flesh and bones now, and it's up to us to put ourselves in the questions and live out the answer. There are women in our midst doing just that. 

There are women like Ellen Humerickhouseof who left everything she ever knew to feed children that were starving. A woman who left the comforts of the world she grew up in to live the hard and uncomfortable life millions of people call normal. Their normal became her normal and their struggles became her struggles. She placed herself in the middle of their question, "Who will ever feed us, teach us, love us?" and she answered, "I will." She became Christ's answer by physically living out His love. 

( or ind Ellen on Facebook)

There are women like Michelle Moyers who let their hearts be broken for women who are broken. Women who don't just say, "Oh, I'm so sorry for what you're going through!" but say, "I will go through it with you and do everything I can to help you out of it!" 

Or find Leah's Restoration House on Facebook)

There are women like Joy Williams Reyes who say, "No baby girl, there is a different way to freedom. There is a different way to love and be loved." She shows them another way through New Hope Girls' Academy. 

( or find New Hope Girls' Academy on Facebook)

The questions are many, but the answer is still the same..."the greatest of these is love." They live 1 Corinthians 13 everyday of their lives. So, how are you being the flesh and bones of Christ? How are you showing someone how to love and forgive and grow? It doesn't have to be in another country or on a massive scale. It doesn't have to be huge in the eyes of many...just huge in the eyes of One.

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