“I want to serve you God! Where are you?”
This is the cry of the man in the comic above, and the homeless man behind answers with the simple word “Here!”
People talk about wanting to “find God.” They may look to the latest spiritual fads, or try to find Him in some other experiential way. But I have never found Him there. God is found in the low places…the dirty man on the street, the woman exploiting herself, and the child that lives in the hovel of poverty. He is found where things are broken, decaying, and seemingly beyond repair. He is found in the wreck of lives, in the loss of hope, in the place with no escape. He is in the silent eyes that shout out desperation.
People who serve the poor and the most broken speak of finding God there. They feel an encounter with Him when they share a meal, or a word of hope. There is a connection with God that happens in those low moments, low down where Jesus hangs out.
I see Him there, I find Him there because my own brokenness steps into the light in a way that I can’t deny. My brokenness is mirrored back to me in the homeless man outside my car window. I see myself as a lost wanderer…desperate to be found, to be loved, to be saved.
I am just as lost, and that is why I serve.
My dirtiness is ironically much cleaner, but no less real. My poverty is one of the soul but it will kill me just like years on the street will kill the addict with no home, just like prostitution will kill the woman who is so lost.
The poverty of my soul is beyond repair and I am no different from one who begs on the street. I cannot fix myself, and I cannot make it go away. I will wallow in it, and I will die in it alone.
If not for the love of Jesus.
The love of Jesus looks for my soul in the garbage dumps, and around dark corners, and in the places where hope has fled. The poverty of my soul will not have the last word, because He finds me and clothes me and feeds me and gives me hope.
My bad choices are not the end, my failings will not condemn me because He lives, and He searches me out, and He loves me, and He works to change me, to restore me, and to give me a life to share.
And so we serve the lost, the lonely, the hardened hearts, and the hopeless because we are no different. None of us can fix ourselves no matter how hard we try and in those dark and sad places at the end of our ropes grace breaks through and we see it face to face. We see Him face to face.
That is why we push past the heartbreak, the sad stories, and the obstacles. We keep going because He keeps going after us, He keeps coming after me and this is what He is calling me to do.
So today is another day to reach out our hands to our brothers and sisters and simply call out to them telling them that we have found rescue. We find Him in those low-down places because that’s where He is, and He’s there because we are there. Our need is for Him…not to find Him, but to be found.
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