Five reasons why you should care

Five reasons why you should care

Posted on August 01, 2016
BY KEITH CARLSON, PASTOR OF OUTREACH AND CARE

I’m tempted on many evenings to retreat to my backyard oasis, build a nice fire in my fire pit, sign in to one of my Spotify playlists, set up my camp chair, pour some iced tea, and get further lost in a great novel.  The goal?  Be blissfully ignorant of the world beyond my little oasis.  (Side note: I really, really like to chop wood with a long-handled axe.  Maybe I should have been a pioneer.)
 
And then something pops up on my phone.  A shooting in Dallas.  Or in Nice.  Or in Baton Rouge.  Or in Minneapolis.  A human rights lawyer murdered in Kenya.  Girls kidnapped in Nigeria.  One more alarming statistic about the weather.  Burning police cars.  Burning forests.  Burning crosses. 
 
But I just want to enjoy my fire.  Why should I care?  Can’t I just not read the headlines, or push notifications?  And then I sigh, and realize again, no, I can’t just turn my head, or turn off my phone.  Why?  For starters, these 5 reasons.
 
1. God Cares.  I read through the Bible each year.  And each year, I see again God’s heart for the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, the widow, the orphan, the victim of injustice, the victim of hatred, the creation, the creatures.  All through the Bible, God’s words and instructions to us, He makes it clear that his heart bleeds for those who are helpless and marginalized, and ours should, too.  We are to bring about God’s shalom, his justice, his care, his love.  I care because God cares.

2. All people matter to God.  I don’t get to pick and choose who I love based on how comfortable I am being around them, or how much they look like me or talk like me or think like me.  God loves people with skin diseases, people in prison, people begging by the side of the road, mean people, people with lifestyles choices different than mine, richer people than me, poorer people than me.  My role is to love people who God loves.

3. We have much to learn.  I have found that we learn best when we get out of our comfort zones, when we are displaced, when we’re forced to grabble with realities foreign to us.  And truth be told, I don’t want to settle for a suburban, white middle class version of God, or God’s kingdom.  I want to discover as many facets of God’s magnificence as I possibly can while living on this earth.  I want to learn from Kenyans, Haitians, Japanese, Ukrainians, First Nations, and New Yorkers.

4. You have something the world needs – and I don’t mean money.  Each of us have unique gifts, abilities, experiences, and passions that need to be contributed to this world’s redemption and healing.

5. You actually might change the world or save a life.  Really, you might.  Why don’t you try?
 

Comments

Posted by Cindy Benedict on August 16, 2016 @ 12:07 pm

So well written my dear friend! Bravo and thank you for the encouragement!

Posted by Cindy Benedict on August 16, 2016 @ 12:06 pm