Tuesday, July 23, 2013

America, the Mission Field

Here's my missional team. How blessed the world will be by each and every one of us.

A life group question a few weeks ago that remains haunting, daunting in my little brain.

"What would you do if money weren't an issue? 
What are those dreams, those accomplishments 
that you'd pursue if cost wasn't an issue?" 

One says, "Go on a mission with my husband."
Another, "Serve overseas for an extended time (read, years)."
And my neighbor, "Travel to Africa with my family and my bible to share my God."
Then me, "Write a book. And stay at home with my kids. Maybe start a local women's ministry." 
Enters blusing cheeks from feeling lame.

I don't want to go abroad and build houses and speak His words. I just don't. I can list a hundred and two excuses, but really, honestly, I just have no desire to do so. 

I love vacation and travel and foreign lands. I love cultures and wonders of different lands and new experiences. But I have no desire to live there, to be present in the hurt there, to do mission there. Nope. While the heart for the international mission is beautiful and intriguing and so admirable to me, it's also completely foreign and something I haven't got. 

Sometimes, I feel lesser. Like I should be traveling far and wide to experience how far the east is from the west. To bring Him to life for another culture. Then I realize, Christ saw mission all over. So much so he told his disciples, "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel." (Matthew 10:5-6) The lost sheep of Isreal were right there. On the street corner, in the next building, at the water source. Literally, right there.

I have a heart for the women around me. Those hurting in the same emotional, God-lacking ways of African children, Indian women, and Chinese orphans. We write America off as a mission field because we've got so much. We're not worried about where water or food will come from, instead, we fret over our grocery list and next Target trip. We don't wish for shelter or a family because we've got them, but we do plan and pursue bigger and better. Americans look like we've got it all together. But we don't.

The census says we're Christian (by majority). But really, how much effort is it to check a box? We're a country founded "Under God", but focused on everything but Him. So I'll continue my effort. I'll seek Him in my mission at home. I'll speak, write, think daily of His heart for me and for America. For my mission here in Small Town, USA. And I'll know in a deep and joyful way, that He's doing work here. Work just as important as that in the African savannah, the small villages of India, and the bustling towns of Japan.

For those abroad, you go you. I pray for you and think of you. Thank you for your willingness to be away in order to serve others.

For those here, being missional in the local context. You're important too. You're vital to Him and to those around you. You're a lamp on a hill as much as the international missionary. So keep yourself sharp, and bright, and tall -you don't know who's looking to you.

In Matthew 19:24, Christ talks about the dangers of richness.
I think he might be talking about the good ol' US of A.

"Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle 
than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

 We're rich friends. Not just monetarily, but relationally, emotionally, experientially.
Beware of feeling like we all got here ourselves. 
Because we didn't.
We were born here. Born lucky. Damn lucky. 
And how is it that we're using those lives we've been given?

More on missions and context in this amazing piece.


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