Friday, May 31, 2013

No Greater Love

This time I made the right choice, to be inconvenienced. It was Sunday and we were about a third of the way through the church service when I was called out to help in a situation. I was tired, having already worked at the church all day the previous day leading a ladies’ event for 75 women, as well this day for hours before the service started (as part of the worship team and as an assistant pastor). But I was called, so I went.

There was a little boy. He was in pain, injured during Sunday school. My flesh cried out, “Why me? I’m not a medical professional! I’m not in children’s ministry! I’ve already given more than enough this week!” I prayed for him, gave him a piece of candy, asked others to get his mother and a first aid kit and money to take him to the clinic as I had none. I was one of the few with a car in our rural, impoverished part of Swaziland. There were others, but no one else stepped forward and all obviously looked to me to take care of things. The boy was sobbing; a nurse in the congregation determined that his leg was badly broken. I went.

All the way, I thought about my afternoon plans of a nice lunch I’d planned, leisurely going over teaching materials for the week, getting things in order, and maybe even a brief nap. I also worried about my expensive equipment and other belongings I’d had to leave behind in our haste to get the child to the hospital, which was about 45 min. away. But this time, I went. I chose to be inconvenienced. In between bouts of self-pity, I thanked God all the way for the opportunity to be used by Him; for the honor of being in His service; for the privilege of showing His compassion to a small boy who was frightened and hurting.

There have been too many other times I hoped someone else would do what was needed, because I was too busy, too tired, didn’t have enough money. And because I didn’t want to be inconvenienced. I realized that while we might want to believe that we’d “take the bullet” for someone else, we all too often aren’t even willing to be bothered from deviating a little from our own plans, our own routines, our own comfort zones to help in the small, unexpected needs of others we encounter so often in our daily lives.

I realized this past week that the cross wasn’t convenient. Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 5:15 My prayer is that I will be more and more conformed into my Lord’s sacrificial life; that I will make the choice more often to be inconvenienced.

The right choice--little Sambulo

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