Sunday, 5 August 2012

A sobering interaction...

I (Keith here) was working in the yard a few days ago, and a Bahamian man riding a bike rode up to our gate.  Soliciting is not very common in the Bahamas for security reason, and most people live behind fences and gates.  So, it was odd to have someone show up at our doorstep in this manner.  The man, without going into detail, had a rough appearance with ragged clothes, a torn hat and holes in his shoes.  He proceeded to ask me if I had any work around my yard that I needed done.  He said, "I need work.  I got no nottin' to eat, mon."  The discomfort of the moment compelled me to reply with a quick "No sir, I'm sorry.  I have nothing for you."  He got on his bike and rode away.

Looking back, I think there were several reasons I gave this reply:  protection of my family (not a bad thing)...and, I really didn't have work for him, nor the money to pay him.  But, I am ashamed to admit, part of me just didn't want to be bothered.  Was there any way at all I could have responded better to this gospel opportunity...? 

Jesus' interaction with the rich young ruler gives us a staggering picture.  The young man asked what he must do to be a disciple of Jesus.  Jesus' response?  "Sell everything you have and give it to the poor.  Then, you will have treasure in heaven."  While I don't think Jesus was expecting the rich young ruler to follow through on this, He was certainly speaking directly to the heart of this man who had everything.  Discipleship requires sacrifice.  And, part of our discipleship certainly requires having a gospel-centered view of the poor.  This reflects God's own heart towards poor and needy sinners like us.

This man has been on my mind ever since, and I have been praying for him as well as praying for new opportunities to meet the needs of the poor here in Nassau.  I'm attaching a few snapshots we've taken of some lower income areas.  They are all around us!  It would be easy to get overwhelmed, but we trust that God has a plan on how we are to be involved.  Please pray for us that we will take advantage of the gospel opportunities all around us!

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