Ever feel like you are inadequate to give anything of significance when seeking to serve others? Do you think that this Gospel of Welcome is too far-reaching? Do you think you are too old, too young, or too busy to be part of an international movement? Do you wish that John would tone down this grace-turned-outward stuff and return to the days when we were just getting ready to go into the marketplace? Do you think that he is asking too much? Are you afraid of what he’s going to ask next? Me too.
That is until a dear friend recently told me:
“With little in hand but a willingness to have your heart broken by the things that break the heart of God,” she promised, “your life will change forever. Your life will never be the same.”
She got me. And as you reread her simple sentence again (and maybe you need to do that) she will catch you too. Who isn’t willing to have their heart broken by the things that break our living Lord’s heart? I am counting the hands. One… two… 10… oh my, 200… no, that’s 3,000 brave hands. Wow. All in one day, after most of us skipped the Catch writing only yesterday. Three thousand raised hands and probably more, if we count those who dodged the Catch even today. (Those who are not raising their hands are my favorites. You are our honest seekers of God. Our seekers raise challenging and excellent questions and thoughts. I wouldn’t expect you to raise your hand — but do stay with us because I am going to tell a story that even you have heard many times over.)
Picture a young boy with a simple lunch his mom had packed for him earlier in the morning — five pieces of pita bread and two smoked fish (all of us moms are
“Jewish” when it comes to feeding our children). The little boy is off to find Jesus at the Sea of Tiberias — he, and at least 5,000 others.
The boy arrives and finds a place up at the front near Jesus. He must have been near enough to overhear Jesus ask his disciples how they planned on feeding the multitude. Jesus brought it up. His heart was going out to the people who had nothing to eat. If the disciples had a heart, they weren’t listening to it, because they didn’t have a solution. There was no grocery store in sight and no time to travel to town to find one. They were in denial. Surely the little boy knew his little lunch was hardly adequate to fulfill the needs of that many, but still, he gave what he had to Jesus. He had the right heart.
So, Jesus took the little boy’s lunch, blessed it, and right there in the wilderness, He turned the five pitas and two fish into one of the greatest Passover feasts ever, with second servings and leftovers to collect.
Now there is an alternative to this little boy’s story. Practicality tells us that he could have been moved to respond to the pressing need, but logically recognized, like the disciples, that his resources were sorely lacking. He could have reasoned that it would be better for at least one person not go hungry, and have hidden in a corner, secretly munching his lunch.
But the little boy didn’t steal away and care only for himself. Rather, he turned to the Lord and asked Him to do whatever He wanted to do with whatever he had to give. And then he stood back and watched the Lord perform miracles all around him – through that little lunch his mom made for him, and his willingness to have his heart broken, he got to play a small part in a big miracle.
We who know Jesus Christ as the Lord of all Lords, the Christ in flesh and blood, the holy Messiah — we know Him as the Jesus who died to forgive all of us. We know the experience of grace that upended all the stupid things we have done and are doing; we know the intervening of his love to us, the loveless.
Looking around our cyber-world of fellowship, it is obvious that each of us has little in hand, causing you and me to ask each other, “Do we have what it takes to have our hearts broken by the things that break His heart?”
You are more than welcome to take the grace that has been given to you into your private corner. It was given freely to you, and just for you.
You are also welcome to join the Catch Ministry’s body of Christ as we allow our hearts to be broken over what breaks the heart of Christ, and defy logic and reason for His amazing gift of grace to you and to me, and invite others to join us through, and on, to the other side of the cross, where reconciliation lives. That’s where we find the miracle of grace turned outwards.
What miracle awaits out of that little lunch you packed earlier in the day? Whatever you have been given is for you … and everyone else!
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