One of the most interesting things to me since I have begun to read authors such as David Platt, Eric Idleman, etc., is that when I try to share with other Christians that we American Christians have truly been missing major pieces of the gospel, I am made to feel like “that is fine for you Donna. You have that passion. But that’s not for everyone”. Um, yes it is! It is scripture! And here is what is really perplexing: why is it accepted by the Christian community that it is OK for me to challenge non-Christians to seek the claims of Christ and the truth of the scripture. But it is not OK for me to challenge my Christian friends to seek the claims of Christ for those of us that call ourselves Christians? Yes, I do have passion and I will not apologize for that. And yes, I do believe that Christ expects all Christians to have this passion. So it is not wrong for me to share the gospel - and it is ALL the gospel – not just the part about saying a prayer and receiving eternal life. I want my Christian friends to be passionate about what Christ wants us to be passionate about. And He makes it very clear in both the Old and New Testament that there is a foundational expectation that we die daily to self and make the needs of others, especially those in poverty, widows and orphans, more important than our needs.
When people think that I have gone over the edge, it is interesting the things they come up with. I have had people tell me that my “first ministry is to my family”. Yes, that is true. But that is not an exclusive ministry. I am pretty sure when God told us to take care of the least of these, He was not just talking to the childless! I want my children to see Christianity in action – they need for me to model for them how I spend my time, treasure and talent. I have people point to things I have done as if I am sharing my passion for the gospel with them to get some kind of ‘attagirl’. Believe me, I know that my actions are insufficient and that God has not burdened me with this heart to be satisfied with any of my meager attempts to die daily to myself! I had someone who loves me very much tell me the other day that I was going to “burn myself out”. Oh how I pray that is true! I am sure the child going to bed tonight without anyone to tuck her in is completely burned out on being lonely and wants to ‘take a break’ from being an orphan. I am sure that the woman making $2 a day is burned out on watching her children starve and would love to just take a break from poverty. I am sure the St Jude child, the prisoner with regret, the man in the nursing home with no one to visit him, the woman being forced into prostitution, the drug addict, and anyone and everyone that needs the love of Christ is burned out on not knowing Him! We are called to burn ourselves out being His hands and feet for these burned out people!
So, when it comes time to buy siding and I calculate in my head that I could feed a family in Haiti for 10 years on what I just put on the side of my house, I will thank God that I am struggling with that. And as long as there are 147 million orphans in the world and 6 billion Christians, I will continue to challenge my Christian friends to consider adoption, fostering and orphan care. And as long as 40% of the population on earth lives on less than $2/day, I will continue to ask my Christian friends why they think God has blessed us in this country with so much. And I know I will offend some. And I know others will think I have gone ‘too far’. But I will continue to live as if every day was the day Christ is coming and ask every morning how He wants me to die to myself and ask every night before I go to bed for forgiveness for my insufficiency in doing so. Including forgiving me for how nice my house looks with new siding…..