An old post re-visited, and with some new thoughts…
I was watching Superman Returns a while ago, and I heard a quote that really moved me. It was a scene where Lois first has personal time to talk to Superman at the top of the Daily Planet…and Superman has taken her into the sky. He stopped a few miles above the earth when everything looked like just small lights on the ground below, and they had the following dialogue…in part due to his love for her but also in response to her Pulitzer Prize winning article…”Why the world does not need a Superman”:
“Superman: Listen, what do you hear?
Lois Lane: Nothing.
Superman: I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one.”
I am not writing to say I am Superman or that I am some sort of hero, but like what Superman says…the world needs a Savior. As I look upon my past, and the lives of those around me, the Lord has given me a burden on my heart to share about His good news…about a Savior that has come to save people that otherwise, would have no hope. As I daily look around…so many people are living their lives to the bonds of sin. I am one of them as well…I am a sinner…I am not perfect, I am a Pharisee and I am forgetful… yet I have a new life by the blood of Jesus Christ…and as I walk daily, I see the sin in my life and the sin that blinds those around me…and I mourn…because it so easily entangles us. I ask myself about my brothers and sisters in Christ…whom profess to believe in a Savior that died for all…and yet fail in the basic obeyance of Jesus’ one commandment…to love Him, to love our neighbors…and I wonder if we just live our lives daily ignoring the cries of those around us? Do we grieve the Spirit as we walk by the homeless person, the broken hearted, the person going through difficulties, or the crying person…like the Priest or the Levite from the story about the Good Samaritan? Do we pretend to not hear, or to not care? How can we do so when He hung and suffered there on the cross for us, the undeserving?
As I have pondered this Superman quote and post for the past year plus, and as I sit now in the Bay Area… in a completely different ministry, and social environment, I can not help but feel as though these thoughts are still valid and poignant. You see, the world is not just the little Christian bubble that we like to hide/relax/rest in… it is the world around us and the people in it… these are the people Jesus came to live and die for… these are the people we need to love and share the Gospel with. These people are crying for a Savior. We can continue to dress like Christians, speak Christianese, and listen to Christian music… but are we living out Jesus’ commands when we ignore the oppressed/outcasted/rejected/dejected, and turn our backs to the world around us… and only seek the comfort of other Christians and ignore the cries.
Ask yourself this question: how many of the friends in your life are non-Christian… and is that number decreasing day-to-day? We need fellowship, and accountability… but at the expense of exposing ourselves to the other 99.999999% of the world? We need to also still be in this world being the hands and feet of Jesus, and the world needs to hear the Good News! Look at the present times, financial difficulties, job loss, the earthquake/tsunami in the Philippines, Samoa, Indonesia… so many people dead, people like zombies in their day-to-day life going to their jobs… lost/mired/falling in their dead end jobs… looking for hope… looking for something more than just what they know. How are we, a part of HIS story, history? How are we in their lives? The world is crying my beloved… we are not “Supermen”, but we know who is… and so let us in our own unique ways reach out. We all have opportunities… whether it is at our work places, whether it is at our schools with our hall/dorm mates, whether it is with those that are alone eating meals… whether it is those that have fallen away… whether it is those at church that no one talks to… family members we have gripes with/or who don’t know Jesus… haven’t we ever been in those times ourselves?
At this point, you must be asking how can I do it? Helicon, you can’t tell me all this, and leave it hanging without any recommendations. I know we know all the compassion stuff that we can do to reach out… serve the poor, the widows, join the causes… PRAY and intercede for others that otherwise could not pray for themselves (or don’t even know how to)… but let me cut to the core of the matter… there is no short cuts. To truly be able to speak the truth and Good News into another person’s life… it takes being Jesus, it takes prayer… it takes time (which pretty much is our life), it takes grace, it takes love, it takes compassion, it takes humility, it takes patience, and it takes sacrifice. There is no other shortcut. The Good News can be received just by the Spirit moving, but how often have you been able to share about God’s love by thumping the Bible or hanging/berating the Good News to people? Jesus calls us, his family to do this work. It is not US vs. THEM… but it should be just us! We are all sinners, and all are broken. It is only in the spirit of humility, brokenness… fear and trembling… and living a life of love that you can earn the trust and right to talk into people’s lives. Abraham Lincoln once said this… and I feel that it really hits it home:
“If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his true friend. Therein is a drop of honey which will catch his heart – which, say that you will, is the greatest high road to his reason. When you have once gained his heart, you have little trouble convincing his judgment of the justices of your cause, if indeed that cause is really just.”
Let me temper all this “talk” with a reminder. It is not our work that may bring someone to Jesus, and heal their spiritual blindness. It is only through the grace of God by faith that any person may come to know the surpassing glory which is only found through Jesus Christ. Isn’t it amazing though, that God allows us to be the instrument in which His story is revealed? What a privilege to have such a purpose in the whole history of the universe.
Matt. 25:31-46 always runs to my mind especially the words of Jesus: “Truly I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” Let us not grieve the Spirit… and fail at our mission to love others as Jesus has commanded. Let us love in such an uncommon way that others can not help, but give glory to our Father who is in heaven.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16).