So tonight my wife and I went to watch a movie, something simple, something funny, some time alone, except for the 100 or so other people there, but regardless it was great. Granny was looking after our little one so we took the opportunity to get out and do something we don’t often do. We laughed, had some coffee, ate some chips. Good times:)
As we were walking to the car, I saw her out of the corner of my eye, my first thought, please don’t follow us, but as you know with a first thought like that, she did. She walked right up to us as we were getting into the car.
And so it began, the stories of unemployed father, sick mom, adopted guy being the father of her child, who incidentally had been born last week, she didn’t have much time what with the new-born, sick mom and unemployed dad and late hours, to get out and seek help. But here she was asking for help, no food, no nappies, just a girl embarrassed to ask for help, but doing so anyway.
So, was it legit, did she have all these things going on in her life? Or was it just another junky tale woven and perfected over time, executed with precision on whomever would listen? I really don’t know.
Heres the thing, we didn’t have cash on us, so we couldn’t give any, but as she walked away we were left with the sense that we’d just missed an opportunity. We spoke in the car about what we should have done, what would Jesus have done, what was the Holy Spirit saying in that moment. Isn’t that just typical, we spend so much of our time wondering what the answers to our questions are, that we never really put pen to paper and hazard a go at answering them. The truth is, I can’t relate, not to the poor, not to the hopeless and not to that girl. Isn’t it sad that my first reaction when I sensed that girl walking up us was awkwardness and not compassion.
Jesus after his crucifixion is speaking with Peter in John 21 and asks 3 times whether he loves Him, to which Peter answers yes. Jesus tells Peter that if he loves Him he must feed His lambs, take care of His sheep and feed His sheep.
Jesus is telling Peter that if he loves Him, then an automatic by-product of that love will be a shepherd heart and a love for people. It seems to show that we can’t say we love Jesus and not people. “Yeah I know that” You may be saying, but let me ask you this, Do you actually love people? all of them?
You see, it seems Pastors, teachers and shepherds, nowadays, have stopped smelling like their sheep, they no longer stink. We have stopped being able to relate to others as the Father would have us do, we no longer stink like the herd because we’ve stopped spending time with the sheep, and if we can’t relate to them we can’t get into their space look them in the eyes and tell them they are loved, they are purposed, they are fearfully and wonderfully made and that you’d love to pray for them, because the only thing of real value you have to give them is Jesus.
Lord this is my prayer tonight, let me reek, let me stink, let me be so uncontrollably smelly that I would have no hesitation or awkwardness about being with people who don’t know you, don’t know that they need you and let me be able to just speak truth and love into their lives, in a way that will leave them changed and leave a permanent deposit in their hearts.
Do I know what I’m asking for? Not exactly, but I know I can’t continue living a life, where I know God, know how much He loves me, know what He did for me, know I can always rely on Him, know that he is my sole provider and keep this wonderful news to my clean un-smelly self.