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Unlikely, Undesirable, and Uncomfortable

He weighs heavy on my heart and constantly on my mind. The first time we met his clothing was dirty and his hair was far too long. I’m not sure the last time he bathed, but I could tell it had been a while. It was cold outside, yet he wouldn’t let us sit inside to talk. I could see a profound and deep hurt that nearly overshadows his kind, gentle, and generous spirit. Cautiously he uncovered his wounds with just enough vulnerability to see if the comfort he desperately desired would be offered. It was in his brave moment that the Holy Spirit prompted me, and without thinking, I placed my hand on his shoulder, telling him that I see his sadness. That it’s ok. That I, that we, wanted to be a part of his life. That there is a body of people who love Jesus and want to share Christ’s love with him. Instantly his body decompressed and seemed lighter. He was no longer alone. No longer forgotten. No longer undesirable.


If someone had told me a year ago that this experience would be catalogued as one of my faith-changing moments that catapulted me into enormous growth, I would have laughed and told them they had confused me with someone else. First, I always feel awkward meeting new people, especially people very different from me. I always seem to say and do the wrong things. (Apologies to all of you). Second, cold calling and knocking on a stranger’s door just isn’t something that makes me excited. In fact, it makes me squirm and feel like I need to breathe into a paper bag. Third, I like my bubble. It’s comfortable, safe, and familiar.


But as believers, we aren’t supposed to stay in our bubble. We are meant to get uncomfortable and show up in unlikely places and share the love of Christ with undesirable people.


In Acts 8, God tells Phillip to take an uncomfortable route during an uncomfortable time of day. While walking the desert road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, Philip encounters an unlikely convert, an Ethiopian eunuch. When the Holy Spirit tells Philip to go to the chariot the eunuch is sitting in, he runs.


Philip RUNS! He runs in immediate obedience without a second thought of being uncomfortable with the unlikely or undesirable. He excitedly goes in the direction God is leading him. Because of Philip’s willingness to embrace the uncomfortable, he shares the saving grace of Jesus and baptizes the eunuch before being swept away to Azotus.

 

What if we all were like Philip? What if we were so excited about the hope within us that we ran to someone nobody else was running to and talked to them about Jesus? When is the last time you ran to someone who our modern world considers undesirable?  


I will be honest; I still like my bubble. I still struggle daily with staying comfortable. But the experience I shared above filled my soul and set it on fire in ways I cannot put into words. It melted away some of the sins I was struggling with and allowed me to move through some wounds of my own that still needed to heal. It placed a much-needed perspective lens on my heart.  


Listening to God’s direction, picking up my cross, and following the Holy Spirit’s prompting showed me how living on mission changes and saves lives. I pray that each of us can lean into the uncomfortable and run to unlikely places to share the good news with the marginalized, stigmatized, and forgotten. 

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