Last night, I went with a group of people to a weekly "street event". I don't know what else to call it. It was in a parking lot. There were a bunch of homeless people there and a bunch of other people trying to minister to them. There was a praise band complete with sound system singing some great music. People prayed. They had little contests for fun and profit, such as a donut eating contest to give the homeless a chance to win $5. There was clothing for them to go through and choose what they could use. There was even an area blocked off and staffed with volunteers for small children to play while their mothers got a break for a couple of hours. After the message, dinner was served.
It was quite an amazing scene. The people who were running this event do it every week for whomever shows up at their parking lot. They obviously have a deep love and compassion for these people. They are doing what Jesus would do.
The people who came to this event were a mix of people. Mix of races, interest, addictions, and sexual persuasions. Some were there to sit through whatever they had to sit through to get a meal. Some were there to cultivate some semblance of family or community. There were lots of hugs and "Hi, so good to see yous." There were some who looked lost and confused.
I felt a little like that myself. I was out of my element. I'm a Christian. I have boatloads of compassion and love for most of humanity. I was even there to see what I could do for the effort. I feel like I should be doing this sort of thing. But it was brought home to me again that that was not my ministry. It takes a special kind of love, a special kind of calling to do what these people do every week. Probably every day in some capacity.
For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. (1 Cor. 12:14-21, 27)From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Eph. 4:16).
Once I learned that God only wants us to use the talents he gave us, I started sleeping a lot better. It's hard enough for me make good use of what I have been given without trying to do well at things He has given to someone else. Not that I can't stick my foot in someone else's pool every now and again to see what they are doing, but I'm grateful that He doesn't expect me to do their jobs. I want to do my part for the body. I'm glad to see other people are doing theirs as well.