Look…Really Look

            Becoming a global Christian is a challenge.

The unrelenting centrifugal pull of the US American version of Christianity, with its mega-church, prosperity-gospel, political-embedded, history-hating growth bias is often….

                                        Selfish.

                                        Individualistic.

                                        Materialistic. 

                                        Myopic.

                                        Greedy.

                                        Consumer-driven.

                                        Comfortable.

                                        Confused.

                                        Soft.

                                        Safe.

It can leave us on the sidelines, missing the Father’s Kingdom heartbeat.

            Until you see a photograph like this one by AP photographer Jerome Delay:

 

APTOPIX CONGO FIGHTING

 

  It’s from a refugee camp in Goma, Congo. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced as even the government troops attack their own people.  These are a few of the hundreds of infants and children who have been separated from their parents in the insane confusion.

            Look…really look.  See the suffering and heartache and hear the Lord say, “The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” (Ps. 146:9).  Jesus Himself said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt.19:14) Now imagine the evil and hatred that produces that which so violates the Father’s heart.

            What happens to those babies?  What happens is crucial for the world because one life, one soul, matters.  One soul is part of one family, one community, one region, one nation. Even more importantly, one soul is precious to its Creator, marked by the sacrificial blood of a Redeemer.

This is just one small slice of what’s going on in the world beyond our borders.  Look….There’s a mom hospitalized today in China awaiting a state-forced abortion.  Our brothers and sisters in Iraq are being systematically targeted and killed.  House churches in Burma meet in secret for fear of being discovered by the government.  People in Darfur are starving. Corruption rules too many governments. Millions in India live under the sway of millions of idols. Pirates are ruling coastal areas of east Africa. Ethnic hostilities still rip apart cities in Europe.  

And realize that, in the words of missionary pioneer Lottie Moon, “the only remedy is the gospel.“  Applying the gospel in those places takes money, resources, risk, creativity, time, intense compassion and audacious confidence in Jesus and His gospel.  

What’s going to happen to those babies?  Who will hug and cuddle them? Be used of Almighty God to heal the wounds on their souls and give them a hope for a life beyond early childhood?  It will only be selfless, courageous people called disciples who have caught the vision of a Father that is far bigger than our selves and far beyond our nation’s borders.

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