It’s been awhile, but I’m beginning to enter the trenches again.
I find myself surrounded by a generation of youth who are living their lives alone. Absent parents. Dead parents. Drunk parents. Abusive parents. No parents. Just last week a girl at one of our programs shared with me that her mom tried to kill her.
Is this really the reality that these youth are living in?
For the past couple of weeks when I look to my right and left all I see is the mess of sin. It’s uncomfortable, it’s frustrating (sometimes infuriating), and it can weigh heavy on my heart and our ministry.
Sometimes… I want to run from it. Wash it all off at the end of the day and not let it change me… or the way I live. But I can’t be effective in a trench and protect my comfortability at the same time.
God could have designed a plan of redemption without ever having to step foot into our world. He could have kept Himself separate, spared from our grief, and unsoiled by the filth of our sins.
Following Jesus requires getting into the trenches. It’s climbing into the reality of people’s broken lives and letting that reality affect us. It’s messy and it’s needed. Jesus left the glory of heaven and entered into a suffering world. He touched the unclean leper and got his feet dirty walking to places no one else wanted to go. He didn’t stand afar from our sin… He bore it… in His own body (1 Pet 2:24). It doesn’t get closer than that.
Jesus did not protect Himself from the mess that sin leaves behind. He entered into it and then publicly displayed that mess on His own body. It’s hard to not want to shield our eyes from sin and the suffering it causes.
Do we protect ourselves from getting the mess of people’s lives on us? Do we draw near to those struggling with sin? Or do we stand a safe arm’s distance away… afraid of what being uncomfortable might do to us?
It might make us like Jesus.