The Difference Is You, Stranger!

I love outreach. Informal outreach. Relevant outreach. One heavy load at a time. The more I pursue the grief of strangers, the more affirmed I am that outreach is the occupation of my heart. We are all beautifully created in the image of His perfect love. We are all puzzle pieces. No one piece is complete without the rest.

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Mark 12:33 “To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

All humanity needs love. Love and sacrifice are repeated over and over and over throughout Scripture. Love God, love others. Why? To make a change, to spread hope, to share joy, to fill needs, ALL to glorify Him.

It’s easy to get caught up in “witnessing” to those that also believe. It can be unnerving to step out and be hope for someone in a dark place. To be a light bulb in a lit room is a tad redundant. Those that need dreams need bold intercession.

3 John 1:5 “Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you.” 

Strangers. See that?! And what exactly are we called to do for these strangers?

Psalm 105:1-2 “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.”

We are supposed to share His love with them. His love that proclaims we are not owned by man. Only His love can satisfy our souls and leave our vessels full. That is the message of Truth that we are to share with this heartbroken world.

Matthew 25:35-40 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

The least of these, He says. Synonyms of the word least are: bottom, gutter, trivial, unimportant, lowest, feeblest, poorest, last.

Whatever we do, for those. Whatever. A sandwich, a pair of shoe laces, a bottle of water, a sick visit, a hug, a kind word.

Seriously, Father? Let me get this straight… I could plant a forest to save an endangered species of tree frog, but giving a homeless family a warm meal has greater impact in the Kingdom? You bet. Our PTA could build a bigger library for our already privileged children, but witnessing to women in strip clubs pleases Your heart more? Yes. Ohhhhh, ok. Now I get it.

All those things are good. The intention is there. The fight is lost though, if it isn’t a fight for salvation.

There are times that I miss an opportunity, when my reaction is delayed well beyond what it should be. Those that know me best have seen me chew on those instances over and again. I have a hard time shaking those missed chances for fellowship and compassion. They stay with me, like a white hot branding iron on my heart. I am imperfect, but that’s ok… It’s ok for me to be imperfect, to screw up. His love spills out all over my life like a bucket full of hot sudsy mop water. It washes me clean. His love is new every morning, and His faithfulness is great.

I really enjoy hugging strangers. Really really. On sidewalks, in malls, and grocery lines… I hug cashiers too. If I am willing to listen, to act on an opportunity, the blessing out measures the effort. Every. Single. Time. As long as my heart is open and my ears are clear I know, that it’s in His whisper.

Bloom where you are planted.

 

6 responses to “The Difference Is You, Stranger!

  1. Well said my friend! Jesus definitely blessed you with the ability and passion for outreach. You have such a way with people and your words describing this gift is an inspiration to us that read your blog and who serve with you. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this! Beautiful my friend!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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