Did you see this story? I’ll give you a minute. Or 6 minutes 45 seconds.
If you didn’t have time to watch it, I’ll sum it up: College Kid Jordan has car vandalized several times with anti-gay slurs (they were scratched into the paint). He can’t afford to fix it. So he drives it around for 4 or 5 months – can you imagine how painful that was? Somehow, Auto Body Guy Richard Henegar, Jr. hears about it, and fixes the car for free, while turning it into an anti-bully campaign.
So. I can’t begin to express how much I love this, and how frustrated I am at the same time. No doubt that will get me in trouble. But I have a question: what would happen if we all lived that way? What if someone needed help, and we helped them? Richard Henegar, Jr. saw someone that needed help, knew there was something he could do about it, and he did it. Plus, he found nearly a dozen other businesses to help him with the car. People donated time, money & parts. What I love the most, is they didn’t just fix the paint and tires. They completely overhauled the car. Tinted windows. New paint. New tires. New stereo. Alarm system. I mean – they didn’t just fix what needed fixing. They went above and beyond that. And now he’s gathering up some troops to do it every year. Every year they’re going to overhaul a deserving person’s car.
I just can’t help but think this is what the Church/Christians should be doing. If you think of the people you have in any given church congregation, there’s usually a wide variety. I’ve yet to attend a church that was full of accountants. It’s more likely to have an accountant and a contractor and a doctor and a computer tech and a plumber and a banker and a chef and etc, etc, etc. And then beyond those professions, you’ve got the hobbies and interests of fixing up cars and scrapbooking and lawn mowing and carpentry and baking and fitness and etc., etc., etc. So what is the world like where right after it happens, Jordan can walk into any church and say, “I need some help” (whether he attends it or not). And somewhere within the congregation there’s a connection, and his car is fixed. What if churches were about taking care of people? ALL people? I know this is idealistic and perhaps utopian and probably a total fantasy. But I wish it wasn’t. I wish that’s what Christians were known for, instead of being known for things we’re against (whether we are all against it or not). I wish we were known less for politics, and more for some kind of crazy love that we lavish on people. ALL people. Not only because I think that’d be an amazing way to live, but because I wonder which Jesus you’d want to follow? For a whole lot of people, the Christians they know or see on TV are all they know about Jesus. So do you want to follow the Jesus who is very busy in politics and casting judgement, or do you want to follow the Jesus that loves people and takes care of them?
I’m truly not trying to be snarky and divisive. It just breaks my heart what people end up thinking of Christianity, and what Christianity becomes. And it breaks my heart when we use the Bible just to say when and why someone else is wrong, instead of using it to learn how to live a lifestyle of truly loving our neighbors.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
– Matthew 25:34-40
It’s not up to us to decide who deserves it. It’s up to us to see a need and fill it. Jesus didn’t decide who deserved to be saved. He died for all of us, because NONE of us deserved it.
I don’t know what the answer is. But I am heavily in the middle of figuring out at least what the answer is for me.