When I sit and think about one thing I’m doing, right now, to live out the Gospel in my neighborhood and in my community, I draw a blank. And I don’t like that. I want to have something to show you, I want to be able to reveal my living-out-the-gospel-on-mission card and hashtag it. I want to be popular with my missional peeps.
Right now I’m just living–feeding my family, writing, meeting up with friends, accompanying, driving, caring for my kids, taking clothes to the dry cleaners, meal planning, making my bed, dusting, playing with the dog, chatting with neighbors, serving a meal to the hungry, having friends over for dinner, grocery shopping, volunteering at the school, working in the library, planning a party, sipping wine with my husband.
All the things you are doing too.
This is our life–full of small things but piled high to fill up our whole plate.
The daily work of life sometimes makes me feel like I’m doing nothing at all to impact my community for the Gospel. I so want a checklist, something I can actually mark down as the way I lived out the Gospel today. Something tangible.
But you know what? It doesn’t always work that way. I’d venture to say it probably usually never works that way. Every now and then you can check off the list of service–I took a meal to a friend, check! I served at the homeless shelter, check! I helped the neighbor, check! I tended to an elderly woman, check!
Sometimes it’s huge–there are those right now who are seeing their decades of work in their neighborhood come to fruition with a harvest that is ripe for the picking. What a joy to look on and watch that story unfold.
I know deep down that there is movement, there is silent work, important conversations, slow building of relationships. I know God is using me in His way, and I know it’s all the little things that combine to work out His story. I don’t want to downplay the day to day living.
But maybe sometimes it’s not about me at all. Maybe most of the time.
Maybe it’s about being on the receiving end of grace being poured out like flowing water. Maybe it’s us looking on as others do the serving and loving, and finding strength from that to keep working through the slow, day to day.
I know I’ve thought on more than one occasion that we are going to swoop into this neighborhood and take it by storm. Like the neighborhood needs us to pull it together–thinking our family is going to do the trick, and before you know it everyone will be following Jesus and growing by leaps and bounds. They will see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven.
And you know what, part of that I want.
But here’s the deal for me right now–my neighbors are the ones outshining me in service.
They take care of my animals and check my mail, they throw parties where all are invited, they open their doors when people knock, they go shopping for a friend in need, and bring special treats for the children who’s daddy is extremely sick.
They send over their guys to install a door after the house across the street was robbed, they put on christmas lights for the weary neighbor, they stick their neck out for me when we’re walking in the wee hours of the morning and a scary dog jumps out and I hide behind them instead of protecting them, they wait for my kids by the bus stop and feed them and love on them.
This is my one thing, right now: watching and learning.
Seeing others serving makes me desire to participate. It inspires me. I feel the prick in my soul when I’ve chosen to stay holed up in my cozy house while someone else has chosen to build shelves for a neighbor.
It doesn’t always have to be me, but the Lord knows I sure want to be involved. I want to know the needs and jump out of my own comfortable skin to fix the needs. I want to dive in deep and not just hover on the surface.
I want all this, but I have to fight for all this against the fleshy flesh that comes up and battles me from within. I’m trying to figure out how it all looks for me, for my family.
But I also want to look on and see the ways God is using others, and to appreciate that He is weaving His story, He is caring for the hurting, and I am still learning and growing.
I’m a work in progress, and progress is slow.
What is your #onethingrightnow? How are you fighting your flesh to meet your neighbors where they are, to love them, and serve them? Do you learn from watching others?
P.S. I’m full of postscripts this week–thank you for subscribing, you know who you are! Some of you may still need to confirm via an email that was sent to you. I’m still trying to work out the kinks on all this!