Uncomfortable. A word no one really likes for any reason. It isn't fun to be uncomfortable. Too hot, too cold, out of your element, a scratchy tag in your bra, a child pulling down your pants trying to get your attention. . . All are quite unpleasant.
My reading today made me realize how uncomfortable I get around beggars. Beggars really isn't the "PC" term to be using now-a-days, but it is the term used in this passage, so I'm going with it. Whatever category they fall under, they all make me a little twitchy. I feel a tug in my heart for their plight, wondering what their story is and how they ended up in this sad state. I want to help them, to hand them a dollar or five, but am unsure at how that money will be used. Will they go buy food for their family or booze? Will they grab my hand as I hold out the money and take me away? Totally unsure and distressed I usually just avert my eyes and pass on by.
Hitchikers, men holding signs, women huddled in a corner, they are all just a bit unnerving to me. Among this issue and so many more, God pushes me to break out of my shell. I'm not going to get anywhere if I am not willing to get just a little bit uncomfortable. Just look at the result John and Peter had from simply not walking past this beggar, who had obviously occupied this spot many times before. The now-healed man, went into the temple courts dancing and singing praises to Jesus. The people who knew the man to be crippled were amazed. How many of them came to believe in Jesus because of the simple words Peter spoke.
Now, I might not always step out of my comfort zone for a 'beggar' due to the fact that it does often pose safety issues, especially when carting along three small children with me 95% of the time. But that doesn't mean I can't give that $5 to the local food pantry and make them aware of a person who could be reached. It doesn't mean I can't offer a simple "Jesus loves you" as I pass by. There are so many things that push me outside of my comfort zone when it comes to witnessing for Jesus, and many pose no safety risks.
|Break out of that shell!|