Sunday, August 24, 2008

Expecting to be Forgotten

A few weeks ago, a group of guys were hanging out in the parking lot of our church, and I had driven up to make sure that they would be moving along by nightfall. One of them needed a ride home, and so I said that I would be glad to help him, once I got my family home and got my kids to bed. When I came back a half hour later, he was gone, and his buddies said that he just thought I wasn’t going to come back. Around the same time, a man had approached me after church asking for money to buy food, and I told him that I’d be glad to drive home and get him some food and bring it back. Ten minutes later I was back, but he was gone. I bet he thought I wasn’t coming back.

I’m finding that this fear of being forgotten and let down is a pretty common theme with many that I work with. When we have an event for the neighborhood kids, they will call 5-10 times in the hour preceding it to make sure that they are being picked up, asking where their ride is, are we coming. Over and over and over. Many times if I make a promise to help someone financially through our church, they will call back multiple times to make sure that it is being taken care of.

We all have this desire to know that we matter, that we are important. And it makes me sad that there are many in this world who have it communicated to them over and over that they are not important, that they don’t matter, that they are an afterthought.

Last week at our Wednesday Community Fellowship, one of the guests who is homeless told me that there had been a newspaper article that day about a homeless man found dead in a building on High Point Road. He wondered if I would mention that to the group. And so I got up during our announcement time and just spoke about this death, a man that most of us did not know. As I spoke, the Lord reminded me that He said that God knows when even a sparrow falls to the ground, and that the very hairs on our head are numbered. Even when no one else knows, God knows. He reminded me to tell the group that He was with that man as he died, not abandoning him.

I have never been homeless, but if I were, long-term, I can imagine that one thing I might wonder is, “Would anyone notice if I wasn’t here?” Not in the sense of just giving up, but just wondering if I matter, if my life has purpose because many treat the homeless and the poor as a faceless nuisance.

But the more I am in relationship with folks who happen to not have as much as me, the more I know that they have stories and longings, and they want to know the same thing that I do – "Do I matter? Am I significant?" And God says to all of us, “Yes!” Those of us who know Jesus are to be the living embodiment of that “Yes,” that those who think they are forgotten might know that they are remembered by a God who loves them.

1 comment:

jen said...

What beautiful sentiments and great TRUTH- the Lord is with each precious person.
Marshall, thank you for your blog and for your recent e-mail!