Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Call for Shortsighted Ministry!


If you're wondering why this blog post is written in such large letters... you'll soon understand.

Have you ever missed something that was right in front of you?

I remember attending PLNU... if you haven't been there you've missed out.  Besides being a great school, it sits on some of the most incredible real estate in the world.  The views of the Pacific are amazing.  Anyway... I remember walking out of the library as a junior(3rd year student), I was talking with a brand new student.  They stopped, I kept on walking.  They were marveling at the colours of the sunset.  If they'd not been there I'd have missed it... even as it was right in front of me.  It's so easy to miss what or who is right in front of us, our family, our friends... GOD!


Lord, help us!

The other day I walked into town, again asking God what our ministry should look like in this place.  In less than an hour I was standing on the street with a bucket collecting monies for MS.  As I stood watching the people pass by, some eager to help... I began wondering how I'd ended up with a bucket in my hands.  I entered into a conversation with one of the officers who gives tickets to cars parked illegally.  I received monies from a lady who had just buried her sister... she'd died from MS.  But, why was I there?  The short answer: I'd been asked to help... and I thought why not... the better answer has to do with the opening question of my blog.  You see I don't want to miss the people who were right in front of me.

I believe ministry starts with who and what is right in front of us.  Ministry needs to be short sighted.  That's right!  Short sighted.

This has become real to me in recent months as I'm finding it harder to see things close up.  You might say, my eyes are struggling to see clearly what's right in front of me - my arms are just not long enough... if you know what I mean.  While this is troubling for me... it's not life and death.  There are bifocals.  You can get reading glasses.  I'm resisting for now. I just bought a large print bible, BUT it doesn't look like a large print bible... Oh vanity!

Anyway, while not seeing what's right in front of you is NOT the end of the world, it might be for ministry.  You see ministry shouldn't ignore those who are right in front of us, should it?

Maybe you're thinking this is a little counter intuitive for a missionary.  After all missions is about crossing barriers... which seems to signify distance.  While there may be some truth to that, the reality is missions is fundamentally incarnational; it's about entering the lives of people. And we can ONLY enter the lives of those who are right in front of us... Oh to be shortsighted!

Lord, help us!

I wonder... are you shortsighted? 

Oh... we arrived back in Ireland only to find out that we needed to find a new place to live. The owners of our current home want back in... and who can blame them.  Anyway... you'll never guess where we found a place... it was right in front of us... actually right across the street.  Maybe it is good to be shortsighted!  I'm just sayin...