Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I suffer from a lack of perspective. I suspect I'm not the only American, or Christian who does so.

I like Conan O'Brien. He's funny, puts on a good show, and NBC looks like they're going to force him out. Now, I'm not a big TV watcher, and I realize that this is just a surface-level, entertainment thing. It's really not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. But it has never-the-less captured my attention, so I've been following the story.

So this morning, I jumped on the interwebs and looked for the next act in this unfolding drama. I posted the "Coco" picture on my facebook profile and joined his fan group. And it wasn't until just a few minutes ago that I stumbled across a link about something happening in Haiti.

Because I was overly concerned with where Conan might end up in a few months I missed that there was a massive 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti early this morning. Had I been paying attention, I would have seen all of the news and links pointing towards the devastation and heartache that has occurred there over the last 24 hours or so.

Parts of the new computer I'm building came in the mail and were waiting for me when I got into work this morning. I was super excited and opened all the boxes to look at everything, even though I don't have all the stuff and so I can't put anything together until tomorrow or so. I sit here and look at the new computer case I bought and I'm ashamed to think that as I'm excited for this new toy, there are thousands of people whose lives have been completely destroyed and they don't have a home to go back to, much less a computer  from which they could send an email to a loved one letting them know that they're still alive. In the minutes that it took me to open the packaging, hundreds of people died under rubble, because there weren't enough unharmed people to dig through the wreckage to find them.

It happens throughout the world, everyday. I sit in my air-conditioned/heated office, very comfortable in my desk chair, drink a Dr. Pepper and people in other parts of the world die from hunger or dehydration or disease or exposure to the elements.

Is it wrong of me to live the way I do when so much of the world is hurting? Is it hypocritical, to sit here and write my little blog that no one will read and at the same time think about how I'd really like some brownies right now?

I don't know. I do know that God places us in certain situations for specific purposes. I know that I'm here working at Broadway Christian Church because He has called me here. I know that I lose focus very easily on what He has told us in His word is important and right. My heart goes out to the people of Haiti.I will pray that God will protect those who need His protection and comfort those who need His comfort. But here's where I get all twisted up in my brain and I get all befuddled. What do I do? As a follower of Christ, what is my response to what happened in Haiti? Earthquakes happen all the time. Death and destruction happens all the time. We know this; it's the result of a fallen and sinful world. Is it my responsibility to give money, aid, or whatever ever time I come across something like this?

God has told us: "Then Jesus came to them. He said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end." 

Our job as followers of Christ isn't simply to show compassion on people. It isn't to give lots of money, or even rebuild all kinds of houses and communities. Our job, the task that was given to us when Jesus left the earth to prepare us a home in heaven, is to bring as many people into His family as we possibly can. It isn't about humanitarian deeds we do. It isn't about government policies we stand up in protest against. It isn't even how many people come through the doors of our church buildings. It's about living our lives in such a way that the people who we come in contact with will see the light of Christ in our lives and choose to live for Him in turn.

I suffer from a lack of perspective. God has blessed me richly beyond anything I could imagine. And I get so focused on the blessings I've been given, I miss opportunities to serve the Great Master.

Lord, give me eyes to see your mission field. Help me to see the opportunities You place before me to shine Your light. Through all the hurting and destruction of this world, give me the courage and discipline to teach others about You wherever I am, wherever I go. Teach me to love as You have me. Teach me to live as You would have me live. Teach me to sacrifice as You have sacrificed for me.