“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:36-37 (NIV)
I think that you are missing something. What’s that? You have been wanting me to use you in ministry to others, isn’t that true? Yes, that’s correct. How are you expecting that I might want to use you? I don’t know but I’m open to whatever you have in mind. I’m very glad to hear that. What do you think I might have in mind? Right now, I have no idea. But, I’m really anxious to get going on any assignment that you give to me. I’m watching and waiting. Just say the word. Point me in a direction. I’m all yours. Really? Yes, really. Are you sure? I’m getting a little less sure right about now. You’re wondering where I’m heading with my line of questioning? Yes, I am. You’re eager to take on a very large assignment from me, aren’t you? Yes, I am beyond eager. I’m really chomping at the bit. As they say in sports, “put me in coach”. So you want to be in the game and fully engaged. Absolutely, no doubt about it. What if I don’t have a large assignment for you right now? That would be disappointing.
What if I had a small assignment for you? Would you be as excited and enthused to serve me? I’m not sure what you mean by a small assignment? What would you think if I gave you a bunch of behind the scenes assignments that don’t seem at all like center stage kind of work? I’d do them if that were what you were asking me to do for you. You don’t sound as excited and enthused right now. Well, I was hoping that you were preparing me to be used in some larger way. Do you think that I might prepare you for a larger responsibility by giving you some smaller assignment first? Yes, I’m sure that is the way that you work. Am I missing something? I do not understand what you are trying to say to me. You’ve been watching and waiting for a large assignment from me, have you not? Yes, I have. Do you think it might be possible that your eyes have not been open to smaller assignments that I’ve wanted to give to you? I suppose it is. Do you think it might be possible that you’ve walked by people in need because you were looking for a larger assignment from me? Yes, now I understand what you are pointing out. It’s like I’ve been looking at a forest but not seeing the trees. Yes, that’s exactly right. What do a large amount of individual trees add up to? They add up to a forest. Yes, and what do a bunch of smaller assignments from me add up to? They had up to a large assignment from you. Yes, they do.
You have been walking by assignments from me. People are beaten, bruised, and battered all around you. It’s time to open your eyes so that you can do the ministry that you’ve always wanted to do for me. Will you do that? Yes Lord, I will go and do all that you give me to do for you.
Lord, without your help I will be unable to love my neighbor. Give me the strength that I will need to love neighbors that are especially hard for me to love. I will no longer be too busy or too inconvenienced to love my neighbor. Amen
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