As I watch from a distance the United States becoming a huge mess, I have very conflicting emotions. On the one hand, I long for God to open eyes so that we remain the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.
But on the other hand, I simply wait and pray. After all, it’s hard to see the Light when all seems day.
So instead I pray for God’s true Church to come down as the darkness closes in. No more cheap grace and Gospel show. No more divide and conquer.
The Spirit is far from our pretty buildings and well-coordinated programs and our endless checklists of do’s and don’ts.
We hop from bandwagon to bandwagon as they pass by with their Scripture-laden banners flying high, announcing what is right and wrong. All the while our feet never even touch the ground.
Because it’s messy down there with the lost and broken. And we don’t even recognize that our bandwagon wheels are only making the mud thicker.
Down there we will get dirty and our clothes will get tattered. We will sweat and we will cry real tears. Our hands and feet will get calloused.
But our hearts will grow softer. Our ears more in tuned to listen. Our eyes focused to see.
Life off the bandwagon is lonely and exhausting because pouring yourself out will require every ounce of you and more.
Loving unconditionally requires that we expect nothing in return.
It means we get hurt. We may never see “results”. But we keep loving.
And when the next bandwagon comes along (and come it will), we will be tempted to hop on board for just a little rest. After all, many times those banners wave truth.
But truth without love is useless. Our words without action are meaningless.
So we remember our own frailties and brokenness before His grace came down. We remember we were dead—DEAD—in our sins until His life breathed fresh into our lungs.
Only by His sweet, sweet Grace.
So we stay in the mud and muck of this broken world and whisper truths, not with our words but with our actions. We pray for eyes like His. We pray for our lives to speak grace and mercy. We pray for hearts healed and hope found.
We stop thinking it’s our job to save and condemn.
And it’s down here that we find we ourselves need to drink deeply of the Living Water that sustains us in this barren place.
How good that this Spring never dries up! And on the hottest of days and the darkest of nights, we realize He is found right here with us.
It is in that moment—our awareness of Him—we are no longer afraid. We aren’t afraid to love with our whole being. We aren’t afraid of what others will think or say when we walk with the broken—even those who have yet to realize they have cracks and those who never come to the truth. We walk beside them just the same.
We are no longer afraid of not seeing the “results” we long for.
We trust Him so.
We will go as far as we can to show that this Love is real. No news will shake us. No words will break us. Because we will physically ache for those who have yet to see the Light. So much so that the only place we want to be is right in the midst of the hard and ugly. Right beside the lost and lonely.
So here is the invitation to come down. It is too hard to hear the cries from up there anyway.
Live among the dead. Put your heart into action. No more shouting truths. Just living Love in humility and gratitude to the One who healed our own wounds.
God promises to handle the rest.
This is not a call to giving in, as some would assume. I pray you hear my words. This is a call to action. We have, as a whole, confused the volume of our voice with the deeds of our hands. So often we are passively passionate about so many things. This manifests itself in the form of social media posts and podium outcries, making clear where we stand on issues. But it neglects to create humility and a love that is moved to action. May we be “quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” as James admonishes. May we realize that “perfect love drives out fear” as John tells us. This is not only fear of the future, but fear of the “what-if”.
Loving the broken doesn’t mean selling out or even condoning sin. Quite the contrary. Jesus tells us, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Let’s love loud because in so doing, we will speak volumes.