Thursday, November 8, 2012

Are we really living out Christ to our "neighbor?"

Karen and her husband Deon are from South Africa. Deon came here to work as a geologist for a mining company. We met them some months ago when they came through to survey the area. Both of them are Christians. Karen and I enjoy many of the same books. She is creative, and has a heart for people. And they just moved into their home, which is a short walk from our house. 

She invited me over today for a visit. Our conversation was a like a noodle going from one topic to the next. We talked about a book she is writing, books we are reading, art, sewing, and walking out our Christian faith on a daily basis.

Karen told me about a recent incident that occurred while they were staying at a local Hotel which is right on Lake Victoria. Two teenage boys got caught in a storm and drown. One boy's body washed ashore, but the other boy's had not. Deon and Karen tried to help by encouraging the family, buying them something to drink as they sat there hour after hour waiting. Deon even dove into to the tempestuous lake to try and find the body.

There was another two men there that day - both missionaries. They knew of the situation, but didn't do anything. They didn't comfort the family. They didn't pray with them. They just continued on with their day at the beach.

As Karen told me this story I thought to myself, "How often am I that way? How many opportunities to share the love of Christ with someone did I pass up because it wasn't in the box I live in and consider my ministry?" So stop and ask yourself if you have fallen into this trap of not seeing your "neighbor" that is in need, but rather walking right past, minding your own business, or even heading off to do your ministry. 

I would love to get some conversation going about this topic. In what ways are you convicted to change? In what ways have you shared Christ's love with your "neighbor?" What suggestions do you have, or what pitfalls do you warn us of? I think this topic is well worth discussing so we can all do better at living out Christ to those around us, and not just to those we are ministering to.