Monday, October 10, 2005

Zoe Confeence II: Missional?

First of all, I was so glad to see all of my blogger friends. I felt like I was meeting my family for the first time. It was a bit surreal for me. I sit at my computer screeen and communcate with you all, have been for a year. And then I get to meet you live for the first time, but not for the first time. Seeing your faces was a real treat for me. I wish I had hours with everyone there. I really like you all.

At the Zoe Conference I had a chance at a "missional opportunity." What this meant was taking some boxed lunches and $10 to a few select areas of Nashville and giving them to homeless people. OK, I knew I was not the best minister inn the world, but this one takes the cake.

I had the lunches and money, along with my wife and sister, and found this homeless guy on the north side of Nashville. It was a broken down, kind of nasty part of town. We met Sammy. We offered Sammy some food. He refused. We offered him money - cash - no strings attached. We didn't evenm say we were Christians or anything. He refused.

I can't even give money to a homeless guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not only was I unable to give, it was hard for me to receive. He gave us affirmation, advice, and direction. He affirmed our work for the Lord, told us where the really dangerous spots were around town and that should stay away from them, and he pointed us toward a couple of "al-KEE-holic" brothers living in the vacant lot across the way. I walked away from Sammy stunned.

I was exposed.

We never found the al-KEE-holic brothers. We went back to the conference site with food and $10 in hand, just as we left. Only I was not the same. Sammy is haunting me - even now.

I have spent over a year asking God, intensely, what he wants out of me and I get nothing clear. No, I get nothing at all. I hear nothing. My life is a mystery. So, when I get this little chance to give, I am rebuffed. This might not seem like a big deal, and maybe it isn't, but I was humiliated at my absolute incompetence. I defy anyone to be turned down by a homeless guy when you offer him money. It isn't going to happen.

"We view the poor as needy because we are materialistic." -Larry James


DJG said...

I so wished I had joined in the "experiment", but I can feel your pain. It sounds like something that would happen to me!

If you ever get a clear answer please share. I too struggle with finding mine, hearing HIm, etc.

Steve Duer said...

I wonder if Jesus ever felt like you when you couldn't give food and money to a homeless guy.

Jesus gave the relgious people of his day salvation for free, and they were trying to tell him how to be really right with God and who really needed his help.

We are still doing it today.

David U said...

Dude, Sammy still has a free will!
You may have impacted him in ways you will never know about. Turnabout is fair play, because like you he is NEVER going to know how he impacted your life!

God bless,

Beaner said...

I think our biggest sin is pride. You can be rich & be prideful or you can be poor & be prideful. That's one trap that covers all races, creeds, socio-economic status, etc.! Pride. Satan knows that one pretty well too!

It was nice to meet you this weekend. I hope you can continue in the spirit of the weekend even when the "results" don't always make sense!

Lee Hodges said...

Here is a thought from "Experiencing God"

"What is God's will for my life?" is not the best question to ask. I think the right question is simply, "What is God's will?" Once I know God's will, then I can adjust my life to Him and His purposes. In other words, what is it that God is purposing where I am? Once I know what God is doing, then I know what I need to do. The focus needs to be on God and His purposes, not my life!

Now, that does not mean that God has no will concerning your life. He certainly does. He has a purpose and plan for your life. But the plan He has for your life is based on what He is doing in His world. He has a great purpose in mind for all humankind throughout all time. His desire is for you to become involved in what He is doing. Finding out what he is doing helps you know what He will want to do through you."

("Experiencing God", by Henry T. Blackaby & Claude King, Chapter 3 pg. 39)

Dwiggy444 said...

It was great meeting you Brother. And don't give up hope - when we're trying to be Jesus, sometimes we meet people who say "Get outta my face" and sometimes we meet people who are need us exactly where we are. My experience during the experiment was quite different - check out my blog in the next day or two to see what I mean. :-)

A teaser - this "lab rat" found the cheese.... and a whole lot more...