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Why we refuse to wake up and the consequences by paulmitchel27

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· @paulmitchel27 · (edited)
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Why we refuse to wake up and the consequences
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In my previous post I wrote about a homeless brother John whom I was going to help get clothes and give him a list of places where he could get free food. Well, he is not the first one I am helping in this situation and when I meet another John, Danny, Tyler, Justin etc., I always forget one thing that they all have in common and I want to write this post about that one important thing that I will talk about from different angles.

You see, God is the One who is an amazing master of getting the best out of worst situations. Remember what Jesus told a group of people? He said I am not seeking glory but the One who sent me is. So, God is seeking glory because He is beyond good and beyond amazing and when He finds it, everyone wins. It is just the way things work. So, if He seeks glory we must understand that He seeks it in every situation. And through these homeless men and women He is also working to bring His glory to this world though He is unlikely the One who put people in these situations. At the same time, He sees all - past and future and knows about things to happen before they happen. But what He does, He "tweaks" things continuously in our present so that in our future He may deliver us and glorify Himself.

All of us have a purpose. John's purpose sitting at that corner asking for change every morning is to soften the hearts of people passing by. As people walk by, rush to work, those who notice him are instantly tested. Their heart's response is instantly recorded in one of the myriads of heavenly books. This response is essentially the basis on which you and I will be judged by God. Is it compassion? Anger? Indifference? What emotion is recorded? Believe it or not, but this is actually all that matters. You may be pursuing all various goals in life, and miss this crucial little piece of the puzzle that is needed to complete your soul.

By seeing someone in raggedy clothes, are you moved in any way? Are you moved to judge? Are you moved to think about how you could help. Some people who are moved, will start thinking about ways they can help. And the first thought may be to give some money. That's good. Give. Others will reject the idea of giving money because they know or suspect that the money is misspent on drugs. Ok, that does not mean there is no other way you can help. You can stop for a second and say "Hi." As I gave an example in my previous post about the priest who said he feels overwhelmed, there is still something you can do (especially in his position) - give a kind word. Give.

But unfortunately, most people today do not realize they are being tested by John. They keep their hearts shut and allow their egos respond. This is where you defy God. And you must start working on your ego this instant and discern its tricks and traps. Your ego is part of your flesh - it is not your friend because it is not a friend of God. Flesh has a function and it is limited. Thus if you 100% live by your flesh, you are by definition, limited. The spirit is unlimited, on the other hand.

As I eventually caught up with John one of the mornings and offered to take him to get some clothes, he said that he preferred to just stay on the corner and make at least $10. I was surprised because I got him breakfast and thought he was all set. But he wasn't. And I missed one thing. As I was walking, I met another brother who had been struggling with a heroin addiction. This one sleeps outside on a curb and also always asks for $10. I laid my hand on him and asked God to help him break the habit as I just realized that John also is in the same trap. 

I was at a restaurant this past winter and a lady who was sitting beside me at the bar, turned out to be a nurse living in a small town in Western Massachusetts. She told me that she had never seen so many young kids afflicted with drugs. She was saying that we must do something about it. Open rehabs, get them off the drugs.

But a rehab from my experience is not enough in itself. Rehabs are costly, and once these people get out of rehabs, they oftentimes end up shooting again. Same with alcoholism. And do you know why? Because of cold hearts of the majority. The majority of people are not interested in this. As they go about their daily business flying past John and other homeless people, they don't want to be bothered. This is not their problem. But it is. This is God's problem and He will shake things up so everyone notices.

He is already sending signals to Christians who surprisingly seem to be fast asleep in spite of the dreadful events happening all over this country. Shouldn't all the mass shootings, that are clearly on the rise, and other tragic events that clearly point to that you could be the next on this Satan's hunting spree, be enough to make one stop and think that they should start paying attention? At least, do not dance on someone's grave. After the Las Vegas shooting I overheard a conversation where two men were planning a Vegas trip and lamenting about the extra security measures that they would be needing to go through. Really? And those who go to church on Sundays are not getting it either. What should serve as a wake up call, serves as just another hurdle. And people are eager to get back to their usual routines. How much longer do you think, this will work?

Rehabs are just one part of the solution. It takes more than just a rehab. At a sermon one of my brothers Carlos once mentioned that God wants us to give full attention. And this was in response to my question about how to deal with these situations. We had a brother who was struggling with alcoholism and what it took, it took several people to actually give him their full attention before he quit drinking. And after he quit, we had to continue to be his family in Christ. It takes an entire community for a change to happen. It is true.  If you are a follower of Christ, tell me how many people approached you before you started actually walking in faith? They all delivered the same message in different ways. It is the same principle at work here.

But how Carlos has come to this profound realization? One day as a young man he was rushing to an audition (he wanted to be in showbiz) and accidentally tripped over a penny can of a woman. Instead of just keep running, he stopped, turned back and sat down with her to have a talk. He later missed the audition and his career got to a slow start. The woman had Acrodysostosis (delayed limb growth). In a few years, when Carlos was performing at a concert, a woman approached him and asked for his autograph. When he looked up, he recognized in her the woman with a penny can. But now she had normal length arms. She asked him if he could remember her and he asked her what happened to her little arms? The miracle happened - an ordinary miracle. She said after he left that day, the fire came down from the sky and her arms were healed. It was the love that Carlos had that healed the woman through God who wanted to reveal Himself through this miracle to Carlos and to her.

Love is actually the full attention. Don't you think? If you ignore someone's text message? Don't tell me you love that person. 

At another sermon, we addressed this exact issue of love. We realized we do not love the stranger and we actually do not really love those people we claim we do. It takes work to resurrect love in us. And we must start loving those who put themselves out there like John, for us to heal our broken hearts devoid of love.
 
We've come a full circle now - back to our hearts. If you walk by John and are unmoved then there is no start, no future - nothing. But if you are moved in some way to help, this is where we can start a conversation. Yes, it is a difficult situation. And I personally turn to God and pray invoking His power. Then, He sends me ideas on how to help. But it takes more than one person.  If especially those, called by His name - and there are many of us who are walking by John every day, would stop, talk and ask God how they can help, we would be making progress. But the answer that they will receive will be the same that I've received - give your full attention. 

Could you just imagine if all of us gave their full attention to John? If we do not, the consequences are not going to keep us waiting. They are already taking place.
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