Monday, September 17, 2007

A Stingy Sodomite

Part of my job is to be a champion for the poor.

I am supposed to provide opportunities for our college students to serve in the community, and to encourage & motivate students & staff towards compassion.

The other night, I was having this great conversation with this guy who is doing inner city ministry in East Palo Alto, and everything he was saying was right on-- exactly the kind of thing I would want our students to be involved in. But as I was listening to him and "Amen-ing" his efforts and telling him how passionate I was about ministering to the poor, there was a little pit in my stomach that didn't ring true-- not for him, but for me.
I was lying.

I've been thinking about it throughout the weekend, and I realized that somewhere along the road, my mouth kept talking, but my heart wasn't following. I've been sensing it for a while, and wondering, Why am I not excited about getting out there anymore? Why is it such a chore to even think about planning service projects? I thought this was supposed to be my thing.

As I reflected on these thoughts this morning, I felt a stinginess in my heart. I don't want to give up the things that I love. I don't want to get my hands dirty. I like college students-- they're so clean (comparatively!) and easy to work with, and it's so easy to shut off at the end of the day.

I give this talk often on God's Heart for the Poor. I always start with this startling comment "I am a Sodomite." After a few moments of silence and shocked & confused looks, I go on to explain that often the sinful city of Sodom is associated with homosexuality. In Ezekiel (16:49), however, it says that Sodom's sin (the reason God destroyed it) is that "She an her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." Then I explain that it is so easy to be overfed-- caught up with what we have-- and unconcerned about the poor around us, but that God's heart is for the poor, and that we need to follow Him in that. It's a great talk... I just hate living it out.

What do you do when you've fallen out of love? What do you do to re-create passion? My mind tells me Just go out there and do it, but nothing in me wants to-- especially out of obligation, or because its my job. I want to want it, but I don't. I'm comfortable. I like my things-- I don't want to give them up. I like my free time-- I don't want to loose it. I know what it takes-- it takes everything, and I only want to give what's comfortable.

God, please change my heart.


staff chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
keokex said...

wow. thanks for the honesty. that a hard reality to come to grips with. I think I really feel that too - the attraction of the safe, clean, understandable campus compared to the desparation and the street.

staff chris said...

I think you've got it.

--God, please change my heart--

That's all we can do.

Grace said...

ditto what keoke and chris say. i am always impressed by your candor. and i guess, if God wants you to continue being the champion for the poor & an advocate for others, i'd hope He'd give that passion back to you.