broken and called to be broken

Last night Jessie and I were walking down to see a movie and get a drink with some friends. As we were on our way down Courtenay Place, I saw a guy, about 25 or so, sitting on the edge of a step on the side of the street with a sign that said. "Nowhere to go and nothing to eat, anything would help me."

And I almost walked past him.

The funny thing is, in the last month or so, I've been really asking Jesus to break my heart. And He has! I have been broken and falling in love all over again with a God who loves the poor, and weeps for them. But it's been pretty safe so far. Images, websites, campaigns, my politics lectures. I have been broken, but not like last night. I think I almost walked past him out of habit - I always claim to feel "so bad" about people who are on the street and begging, but I always have said "well what can you do? I'd rather make a change at the top level, change the circumstances, not just throw them $2." But then I read Matthew 25, and Jesus told me, "whatever you do for the least of your borhters and sisters, you do for me." That is the kingdom of God on earth. That is Christs' ministry.

And so Jessie and I backtracked. I said hey to him, introduced myself, his name is Clinton. He hangs out in the city, usually the same place, just before the pool room next to Espressa-holic, and stays in the night shelter. He said, "I don't have much more of a choice. I'll be here, trying to get enough money to get through the day."

It's heartbreaking, for sure. Loving Jesus isn't pretty. All Jessie and I really had the power to do was buy Clinton a burger meal from Nando's, love him like a real person and then say good bye as he made his way to the night shelter before it closed up. It wasn't glamorous, or exciting, and his life wasn't radically changed. It was just sad.

But I guess thats where me asking Jesus to break my heart leads me to. I can't ignore the people on the side of the street any more. They are people with brokeness and stories, just like me, or you. They are no better or worse than me - they have just been dealt a bad hand in life, and God has blessed me so that I am able to bless others like them. But it sucks! It is SAD. And whilst I am filled with joy and praise for the King of Kings that I serve, I am far from happy to see the pain that this world holds. But that is my calling. That is the calling of everyone who calls themselves e follower of Christ...because Christ himself said, ‘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.’

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