In 2014, my husband and I moved from the USA to Queensland, Australia, to join a fantastic group of Jesus-followers living out the Kingdom through a living room gathering and community connections. It was beautiful. It was formative. It embodied sitting with Jesus.
While living in Aus, I got involved with a local community charity and became familiar with some of the resources available to people in the area who were homeless, refugees, or just needing some extra assistance to get life ‘back on track.’
One day toward the end of 2015—heavily pregnant—I went into the city alone as I often did to enjoy the warm weather and connect with people. On this particular day, my attention landed on a man sitting on a piece of cardboard on the path along one of the high streets in the city centre. I waddled up to him, introduced myself, and asked if I could sit and chat with him for a bit. He said hello and accepted my offer of company.
He told me his name, that he had just moved from another country to find work but was living on the streets with nowhere to go. Thankfully, I had partnered with that community organization so I was knowledgeable enough to give him some suggestions on how to find housing and employment. He was grateful for the information, and after about 10 minutes I slowly got back up and went on my way.
I loved our wee chat. It felt natural.
What didn’t feel natural were the looks I was given while sitting with this man. Some were clearly looks of “Is she okay? Is that man hurting her?” and others were more like, “What is she doing on the ground with him?”
I don’t always sit with folks I see on the street. I try to as often as possible. When we sit with those who are cast out by the world—rejected, hurting, despised, abused—we sit with Jesus.
Christ offered the chance of a lifetime, to come walk in His footsteps and learn how to love like He loved. We didn’t need to have any high qualifications—we just needed to be willing to follow His example.
Sometimes the simplest instructions are the most challenging ones: ‘let go’… ‘follow me’…
But, in order to ‘follow Him,’ we have to get dirty.
Personal assessment time: How much dirt do you have on you?
We have been called to follow our Rabbi! Are we following closely enough that the dirt from underneath his sandals is kicking up in our faces? Or are we staying a bit behind to keep our nice Sunday Church clothes clean?
Jesus was in the business of transformation, and that required, or at least often included, mess. And often, transformation took place IN the mess, not once the mess had been cleaned up. Christ didn’t ask a lot of his disciples, and yet he asked of them everything. FOLLOW ME. Drop everything you have, everything you know, everything you are, and come be who I am calling you to be.