15 February, 2011

Trapped in my Driveway

True confession time. How many of us, when hearing that “the missionaries” were speaking at our church service, decided to skip that week? I confess. I’ve done that! So how would one feel when the pastor of your church AND his wife take a 10-day mission trip to Nepal? Good, right? Until he returns and you begin to hear the sermons of his convictions while in Nepal. I think these sermons will make me squiggle in my seat. Nepal? Where is Nepal?

I have a dear, young friend who is 21 years old and she’s fluent in Russian. She’s a committed woman of God, she’s a committed college student. She’s brilliant. Her whole life lies in front of her and the possibilities are endless! She moved to Russia last month! She is driven to love the people of Russia with the love of Jesus. The quote on her blog reads, “To love as the Russian soul loves, is to love not with the mind or anything else, but with all that God has given, all that is within you”. Russia? Seriously?

I’m squiggling more! Is Jesus calling me to move across the world? Perhaps. But most immediately, He’s calling me to move out of my driveway. He’s calling me to move out of my neighborhood.

I know another woman who is a servant to many. She has a full-time job but yet leaves her driveway and goes into the Nepals and Russias of her city. Here are some of her acts of service:

A hotel to many travelers

A source of food for dozens of family members and friends all year long

A transportation service for an elderly mom

A medical clinic for the same elderly mom

A 24-hour on-call advisor to medical staff caring for her elderly mom

An encourager and an audience member for dancing granddaughters in 3 different states

A volunteer at a Free Medical Clinic on Saturdays

A volunteer at a weekly Sunday feeding of the homeless

Did I mention that she works for a doctor who never stops? Did I tell you she loves and laughs well? Did I tell you she offers unconditional love and acceptance? Can you tell she loves Jesus? Can you tell she lives for Jesus? Can you tell she serves for Jesus? She left her driveway years ago.

I have another friend who works on the campus of Alabama. I joined her last week to observe. We met two girls in the crowded student center at Starbucks. It was about 11:00 a.m. and students were everywhere. We found a table right in the middle of the room. After the normal chitchat my friend launched into the purpose of the meeting. “So”, she says, “do you have any questions from what we discussed last week”. One of the young girls responded, “I do have questions. Could you explain the difference in the terms Old Testament and New Testament?” As my friend began to explain this very basic division of the Bible, I pondered the simplicity of the question. I pondered the many people in the world who may have this same question.

I looked around the room and saw other faces who might have wanted to hear the answer. I wondered how many countries were represented in Starbucks that day. I pondered that fact that Nepal, Russia and China have come to my city. I don’t have to move to these places; they’ve come to me….and to you.

The road to these places is a very short drive but I’ve got to leave my driveway.