"Giving out of coercion to a need that is uncertain goes sour in your stomach. How do we know who really needs it?!?"My first reaction to this is to break because my friend is doing ministry in a place that I would be afraid to tread and is doing it with a boldness only the Holy Spirit could muster in an individual. I begin to pray for vigilance and strength that my friends may know His peace this night and see His work through in this moment.
My second thought moves to a more reflective pondering both inwardly and outwardly. When it comes down to it, how can I be the determinating factor to who receives that with which the Lord has entrusted me with? And if I continually pour out and pour out, this world has some restrictions on it that don't allow us to purchase things like food and houses, or more simple things like warmth, water, peace and shelter without adequate resources. And so I return to myself and consider how I can responsibly pour out in a manner that is adequate to the requirements that Christ has called me to while remaining a good steward.
In my ramblings, I am convinced that there must be a level of rationing or gauging what all I pour out, whether it is resources, food, time or any other form of assistance and charity to any person. However, I must also trust that I am not the only agent at work. I am not responsible for convicting of the heart. I am simply called to Love.
Love Me. Love Others.
No qualifications. No variables. No hidden strings attached. Just plain, simple, crazy and outrageous love.
I love my friend and his frustration because I have been there, in his situation and I've seen the neighborhood, and I know that there is nothing easy about any part of the situation.
But, their situation spurs my personal reflection on my Love and how I express that Love. May I continue to come to understand how Christ loves me and in turn, learn how to better love His Church, the people of this world and, ultimately, Him in a way that reflects His love for me.
To God be the Glory, for he provides us with the strength and power to be used by Him. May we understand this power and strength through His Love and Holy Spirit.