Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kick in the pants

Meals on Wheels. It's a hot topic these days. It came up in two separate conversations within two days. And of course it showed up multiple times in my newsfeed. It's the new poster child for everything that's wrong with our country. And funny thing, Meals on Wheels isn't even directly funded by the federal government.

But I get it. I know that it gets its funds from somewhere and some of those funds come from federally funded programs and those programs face possible cuts.

I get it.

What I don't get is my fellow Christians. Christ-followers, as our name says. We are to blame here. Not President Trump. Not the Senate or the House. Meals on Wheels should have been our job in the first place. Taking care of widows is in our job description, from the Old Testament to the New.

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Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. 
If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. Exodus 22: 22 - 23
(And read verse 24 to find out what God said He would do to those who didn't listen.)

Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless, or the widow.
Deuteronomy 27:19

If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly,
if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm,
then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever. 
But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless... 
Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. Jeremiah 7: 2 - 11, 23

Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: 
She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned; 
they did not help the poor and needy. Ezekiel 16: 49

This is what the Lord Almighty says: Administer  true justice; 
show mercy and compassion to one another. 
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. 
In your hearts do not think evil of each other. Zechariah 7: 9 - 10

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

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"But," the argument continues, "there are so many people who rely on Meals on Wheels!"

Yes, and if, as a Christian, you are truly concerned, are you ready to get to work? Do you know how many churches there are and how many people there are who attend those churches?

God has provided the resources and the people. We are Plan A. We need to stand up and be counted for.

And this obviously isn't just about feeding the elderly. Whatever the need: refugees, immigrants, homeless, mentally ill, single parents, children ... The needs are great. They always have been. But there are always enough resources if those of us with the ability, time, and finances are willing to give of our time and resources to care for those right around us.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed. "God, I'm already caring for orphans. I'm tired. Do I really have to add something else?" And I hear that still, small voice, "I gave my son who gave His life."

A few weeks ago, a friend at church came to me to tell me that she had had a very vivid dream that week and she needed to share it with me because I was in her dream. She told me that she saw all of the houses in my neighborhood and that John and I owned all of them. My first thought was that it was just a crazy dream; no meaning here. Surely God was not saying that we were going to buy all of these houses and put children in them? (Yes, my mind always goes to the children.) A few weeks later, I think my eyes have been opened. I have long felt that we are not doing enough for our widowed neighbors. Shoveling here, sending over a loaf of bread there... That's nothing. What if God wants our family to "own" the needs right around us? I already cook for an army. What if I provided for our neighbors, too? And, what if we carved time out of our lives to visit with them more often? Took our instruments and played songs for them? What if we were the neighbor Jesus spoke of in Luke 10?

And what if that dream wasn't just meant for me but was God speaking to all of my friends who call themselves Christ-followers? Who occupies those houses right around you? Might God be calling you to "own" the needs around you? For too long we have forgotten that we follow a radical, crazy Lord who loves and serves with a radical, crazy love. He told us to "Go, and do likewise." He never asked the Roman government to do the job for Him or even to join Him in His work.  He never seemed concerned that the Roman officials were not investing money in feeding the poor, housing the homeless, or caring for the physically and mentally ill.  Instead, He lived a life of giving, loving, and caring; a life of sacrifice. Are we?

Maybe this administration is just the kick in the pants we need to do what we were meant to do in the first place.

3 comments:

  1. This is a perfect example of why I miss being part of a church community that you and John are members of. I have always felt that you are a great example of "walking the walk, not just talking the talk". A dear friend once told me that people do not come to Christ because we tell them to. They come because they want to be part of something wonderful that we show them. Thank you for the reminder.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Jane. God bless you.

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  2. "do what we were meant to do in the first place."

    Well said.

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