I told Jesus a while back that I wanted to help the world. I want to be like a shepherdess for souls. Someone who could come alongside some hurting, struggling-along people and take their hand and help them get to God’s heart, where the healing and love is. I told Him this when I was feeling very loving and sentimental. When I wasn’t drowning in the all the mundane duties of life.
And then someone came knocking at my door. (Not my real actual door to my house, but at my email door. And someone came knocking at my facebook door. And someone came knocking on the telephone.) They were asking for help. That’s when I remembered my prayer, “Send me Your broken, Lord, and I’ll take them in! I’ll be a safe place. I’ll get them to the haven of Your heart.”
But, when God did send me His broken, my prayers morphed. Significantly. I said, “Oh, no. I can’t do this. I don’t have time. Duh, God. Just, duh. I have kids to raise. I have dishes to do. I have laundry to fold and sort and for the life of me, I’m gonna teach my kids to PUT THEIR LAUNDRY AWAY instead of using it for a trampoline on the living room floor. Have you seen our house project list? Sheesh. It’s never-ending. And I have people that I love that I can barely keep up with. I should probably go check on them.”
And then there was the part I didn’t pray, but perhaps I should have, “I have to check facebook 300 times a day. I have shows to watch at night. Anyways, I was just kidding. Don’t send me Your broken. Send them to someone else.”
Thankfully, by God’s good grace, I didn’t immediately slam the door in anyone’s face. I told them I would pray and get back with them. Now, isn’t that the kindest Christian thing to do? Pray and get back with them. Meanhwhile, I was secretly hoping they would move on.
But, Jesus did not move on. When those broken, struggling-along people walked away, He kept knocking at my heart’s door. “Um, Maggie?” He’s such a gentleman. He doesn’t yell at me. Or make me feel condemned. He just quietly chats with me there in the recesses of my heart. “Remember that prayer you prayed? Did you mean it? It’s okay if you didn’t mean it. I just need to know what it is you really meant.”
So, I expressed my angst to my best friend, Brent, and asked him for his advice. “Babe. Some people came knocking. But, you and I both know I don’t have time for this. I have kids to raise. And laundry to do. And a sink full of dishes. And besides, we should never have gotten that dog.” Or, at least, I told him some version of that.
And in his gentle, kind, wise way, Brent said, “I know you don’t have time to be everything to someone. But, what if you prayed and asked God if there’s anything you could do? You can’t do all the things. But, perhaps you could just do some thing?” I thought that was smart of him to say that. That seems like a very Jesus-y thing to do.
So, this morning I got back to answering Jesus. “Okay. Okay. Yes. I did mean that prayer. Bring me Your broken. But, not too many. I can’t handle too many. Just let me say yes to who You give me today. With the grace You give, and the love You give, and all the energy I can muster. For the sake of Your beautiful, healing, glorious, pure and bright Kingdom. Amen.”
Now, I don’t know how to help the whole world. I don’t think any of us can. But, I do know that love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8) And perfect love drives out fear. (1 John 4:18) And right now, there’s a few folks in my little realm who could use some real, genuine down to earth love.
Perhaps this is where the healing begins.
Just right here. In this place where we actually are. Us with sensitive, open hearts and a willingness to work together with Jesus.
“Jesus, bring me Your broken. I’ll be a safe place. Me and You, we’ll take their hand and get them to our Father’s heart.”
And then maybe not slamming the door in anyone’s face quite so fast. But, actually meaning that little feeble prayer. And doing the one small thing that we can.