More Than Words
Her Facebook post, her plea, broke my heart. At least the first part of it did. Then it annoyed me the further I read. This is what it said (I did not get her permission to quote her so I am paraphrasing):
It’s about time that I had some caring people in my life. I mean I didn’t know that kindness, especially from the people that are supposed to love you, would be such a big thing to ask for. I’m fed up with the hatred. I don’t deserve it. I’m done with it.
Oh, and the first person that says I should go to church or find God, blah blah blah, is getting deleted from my friends list.
This was from a friend of mine from high school. She was a very sweet girl that had a very rough home life and who made some choices that led her to some difficult places in life. She struggled with a teenage pregnancy that really stemmed from a complete lack of love in her life. Searching for love and acceptance that she did not get from home led her to some places that she regrets deeply. The sad thing is, it does not seem as though she has ever found it since she left her home.
I can tell you what she did find. She found a whole bunch of friends, family members, and former church acquaintances that told her to go to church. They told her that God loved her. They told her that she was searching for love in all the wrong places. The problem was, after saying these true statements to her, they left her to fend for herself in a dark, lonely world. These people of faith said the right things, but then abandoned her. They said, “God is the only way to really find what you are searching for” and “That hole in your heart that you’re trying to fill…that’s a God-shaped hole and it can only be filled with God.”
But they did not live it.
The folks around this sweet child of God gave her the information but failed to give her hope. And that is why I was annoyed at the second part of her post. God has been given a bad name to her because the people of God failed to act like they should. Her saying that she did not want to hear about God is not because she doesn’t know God is love (in theory), rather it is her communicating that she is tired of the empty words. The beginning of the post proves that. She needs the action that come with the words.
This very same girl contacted me recently and asked me specifically to pray for her. She knows that God is love. Unfortunately, from her experience, she also knows that many of the people of God do not love her enough to do something loving for her. Shame on us.
We are called to give hope to the hopeless. We are called to give more than words.
Matthew 8-9 shows Jesus going out and giving hope to the world around Him. Just read through the headings of the two chapters and you’ll see him offering hope to those that are hopeless. From touching the quarantined sick (and of course healing them), telling a storm to hush for some frightened followers, pulling a lame man off his mat and giving him the chance to dance, to yanking a girl from death’s grip, Jesus handed out hope. Then he looked at his disciples and said (paraphrase again), “Hey, its your turn. Get out there and do the same.”
When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:36-38
Then Jesus sent out his twelve disciples to preach and heal and generally give hope to a world of people that are hopeless. He gave them a job. The job of showing, not just saying, the love of God to the hurting and lost.
More than words. Words are good and words are powerful. But action…action gives those words even more power and goodness.
What good is it my brothers if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save them? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14
More than words.