Monday, September 27, 2010

How Much Do You Hate Someone?

Yes, I know that's a heavy title for a blog, but it is a question that has circled around my mind for the past week or so; maybe more, I can't remember when I heard it asked. I've thought about it, but until last night the weight of this question and the realization of how much I've missed it have not sunk in.

This question was asked by an atheist in a random video shown during a sermon. I don't know the context for this random man's videos, if he just likes to film himself or if he has some sort of internet show. I don't even remember his name, but I remember his question. Essentially he was sharing a story about a man he encountered who gave him a bible and told him about Jesus. The point of his video was that if those of us who profess to know and follow Christ really believe his message, why are we not telling people? If we believe Jesus' words, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6, why are we not sharing with everyone we meet? Why do we keep quiet? How much do we have to hate someone not to tell them about the saving grace of Jesus, the only way to the Father, the only way to escape the horrors of hell? How much do we have to hate them?

Last night I skipped shoreline just to have a little break, but it ended up being huge. First, I flipped on the TV for background noise and came across a documentary on Showtime called Red Light. It was about trafficking in Cambodia. It was not visually graphic, but the even sheltered descriptions of what these 12, 13, and 14 year old girls and boys had been through was unbelievable, and it was obvious they left out a lot. The weight of this issue and how it has stirred my heart deserves another post, so I'll get on to my point with how this relates.

There was a young girl named, Sokhu who was rescued through the strength of her sister. As Sokhu talked, there was no light in her eyes; she almost looked like a lifeless girl opening her mouth to allow sound to escape. Her sister was on fire, seeking justice for her little sister and desperately trying to restore life in her. They showed Sokhu at some form of religious ritual in an attempt to free her from the pain and the shame (her village blamed her for her experience, though she was sold to the brothel against her will by a neighbor who kidnapped her). It was obviously not working and in the end, Sokhu returned willingly to the brothel as she didn't know what else to do. Her sister is now married with a family, but still desperately looking for Sokhu. I suddenly felt compelled to pray for this family, to pray that they will meet someone who knows Jesus, the only person who can free her from this dark world of bondage, and can love them by sharing him with them. I know there are many followers of Christ reaching into this dark world today in Cambodia.

Then a little while later I got an email update about my aunt who is battling the horrendous disease of cancer and hit by the truth that our life really is a vapor. The combination of these two battles against evil hit me in a huge way. I tried to watch Brothers & Sisters with my roommate, Katie, but found my mind distracted. I went to bed with a heavy heart and honestly didn't sleep very well. I then woke up this morning feeling almost sick and have continually fought back tears as the realization of how much I have missed it slowly weighed on me.

Jesus' message is clear. And the purpose of my life is clear:

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20

So the question becomes, why is his truth constantly on my lips? Why am I hiding the treasure that I hold? I mean, when I read a good book or see a good movie, I'm so quick to share with others. How much more good and valuable is this news, this treasure, this saving grace? How important is the weight of a soul? I think the answer is I am paralyzed by fear because I wonder if Jesus will show up, if he will provide if I'm persecuted. I don't fully believe in the weight of hell and the value of a soul, and that I am God's plan A when it comes to saving the nations. He uses us. So instead, I hide behind the fact that evangelism is not one of my spiritual gifts, regardless of the truth that I am called to it; that it's the purpose of my life.

And realizing all of this makes me feel sick, for I cannot continue in this manner. I'm at a crossroads of sorts, one in which I chose to jump-in and truly pray for the Spirit to show up and give me boldness to share with the multitude of people who I meet who don't know the saving grace of Jesus, or I can continue down a path of cowardness.

I will not lie, I'm terrified that Jesus will abandon me, but that's against his character and against his word, and I know that to be true. I'm tired of living a monotonous life of mediocrity and am ready to fully dive in to the adventurous life that Jesus holds and so desperately wants to give me. I'm glad I don't walk alone; I walk in the power of the Spirit of the Creator of the universe, who lives inside me. Oh Spirit, guide me and help me be brave.