So You Want to Reach the Broken?

posted in: Faith | 0

So you want to reach the broken?

I’ve been thinking about something lately- about the cost of reaching the broken and hopeless. To say it won’t cost anything to truly love and impact the wounded and hurting people in our world, is a foolish and misguided idea.

I think I’ve probably fallen far too often into the Pharisee mindset that somehow I will be able to reach and impact very broken people (people like I once was) when they step into my church, or bubble. “When these folks visit my church, I’ll be really friendly!” What a laugh! Our society is packed full of hopeless people that will never step foot in our churches. To reach these people with the love of Christ, it will indefinitely cost me laying down my comfort and going where these hurting people are. It will indefinitely cost me spending my time, my money, my heart…on what society calls a waste of time.

Isn’t this who Jesus is?

Going out of his way to minister to the Samaritan woman who was likely despised in her town. Reaching out to the lepers who were deemed unclean, laying his hands on their rotting flesh and giving healing. Jesus went to the most rejected, crazy (remember the man with a legion of demons living in a cemetery), the dirtiest…and he loved them. And they were changed, forever. It cost Him his entire life. He had nowhere to lay His head, and He was there when the earth’s foundation was laid. He wandered around seeking to offer hope to the prostitute and the thief, being the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Reaching the broken means your hands are going to get a little dirty. It means that your eyes are about to be opened up to a whole plethora of sadness and anger and abuse, likely right in your backyard. It means reaching out in love to people you want to be angry at. It means embracing the stinky, and truly loving them. Your kids might get lice and your car might smell bad because you decide to love on hurting people. Your carpet might get stained. You might be rejected and the same people you choose to love might steal from you and walk away from your sincere efforts of serventhood.

Sounds a whole lot like our Savior. That sounds a whole lot like the life He poured out, so that some surrendered person could be full enough of His love to reach out to someone like me, in my smelliest, most rebellious, despised state. I’m so glad they did.

Our churches are often full of people who move about from church to church. It’s a comfortable place to hang out. No one taking our pews and reigning on our picket fence parade. But would Jesus be in our churches if He was walking the earth today? I wonder sometimes, since he spent His earthly days seeking the outcasts who would never feel welcome in our sanctuaries. Has the church left behind it’s radical call of meeting the hurting right in the pig pen and offering them hope, or are we now too afraid of getting our new shoes a bit dirty? Are we now too scared of seeing the truth outside of our comfortable living?

Those who say they live in God must live their lives as Jesus did. -1 John 2:6

So you want to reach the broken?