2 Corinthians 3:2-3
As a Christian writer, I find it is easy to sit comfortably behind my desk in my safe surrounds and allow God’s words of love, forgiveness, grace and mercy to pour onto the page, knowing I’m reaching people for Him. As it says in Isaiah, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
But doesn’t the Bible also clearly state in James, “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?”
What does that mean to me? What does that mean for us? It means that while the Lord has called us to a certain task using the gifts He’s given us, He’s also called us to go and love others in action.
There will be times when we step out in faith and give to those poorly clothed, those lacking in daily food, and lift those hurting in prayer because we understand what the Lord has done for us. We’ll provide the same unconditional love the Lord has shown in our lives when we were destitute and needy. But what happens when the poor aren’t responsive to your help?
I’ve faced situations like this. How do we share the unconditional love of Christ with a man who’d rather live in the woods and give his every last cent to his addiction? Or a woman who would rather shiver on the streets in prostitution and endure abuse?
More than once my emotions have spilled over when people wouldn’t accept my help. One particular day, I asked the Lord, “Why can’t they accept my help? Why do they turn away from Your mercy? Are they not listening? Should I give up? Isn’t this what you called me to do?”
I'm reminded of an example from Jesus’ own life. Scripture records He left Nazareth because “He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief.”
I rose and wiped my tears when another image ran through my thoughts. A picture of a man. He was beaten and bruised, skin torn, almost unrecognizable. He wore a crown of thorns, carrying His cross down the Via Dolorosa willingly to suffer and die for my transgressions. Not only mine—everyone I meet.
In my story, The Heart of Mercy, you will see this as the backdrop and setting for Mercy's story. How she so desperately wants those who step off the streets to find hope as they become residents of The Lighthouse--giving grace and mercy to all those she meets.