Monday, March 12, 2012

Why do we do it?

A while ago I learned to stop asking the question "why God.  Why did this happen?" and start asking "what am I to learn from this?".  A few weeks before I left Kenya the resolve to ask these types of questions was put to the test.

It felt so good to help Peter.  I watched as he went from a street boy who probably would have died when i first met him, to a boy with a future and a  hope. No longer was he an orphan but he was a member of a family.  Then, 3 days later I watched him choose to go back to being a street boy.  It was a devastating and crushing blow.  I felt like helping Peter gave me a purpose for this trip.  When he ran away I felt as though he took my sense of purpose with him.  I cannot even begin to describe just how much that hurt me.  How badly I was crushed and brought to tears over it.

Last night was my first night back to my home church - Providence of West Chester (Check them out - we love visitors and it's a no judgement zone!).  A few months ago they had me make a video in which I talked about helping Peter on the streets.  A few weeks ago was Global Missions Sunday and the story of Peter getting off of the streets was told.  I listened to that podcast forcing back tears of disappointment.  I wished that it was still true but the hard truth was that before that message was preached, Peter was gone.  But not everyone at Providence knew this and last night was hard.  I was met with many people asking about Peter and so many pleasant remarks towards Peter and that story.  A few said how it touched them and they were so proud of that story.  Do you know how difficult it is to look people in the eyes after that and tell them it didn't work out?  Well, neither do I.  At least not the looking in the eyes part.  I started to feel a bit ashamed of how everything turned out.

I was talking to the lead pastor, Phil Carnuccio.  I told him that I was still trying to figure out the lesson here.  Then he told me what my heart knew but my mind needed to hear.  In a few seconds, in a few short words, he told me the lesson.  Actually, one word sums it up.  Obedience.  We help others because we're being obedient to God.  We do not help others because we hope that they will show gratitude or because we desire a set outcome.  We help others because in Matthew 25:40 Jesus says that "whatever you have done to the least of these you have done to me...".  We help because we're being obedient.

Do I wish that there was a different outcome here?  Of course I do!  Would I do the whole thing over again?  YES!  I would do it all over again because it was the right thing to do.  It was obedient.  Maybe the whole process was for me to learn that?  Maybe there was something planted in Peter that will stay with him for a long time.  I may never see the end result.  There may still be a great ending to the story of Peter Lojore and I may not have the honor of seeing it.  And that's okay!  Because I was obedient in helping him when I did, Peter saw hope where there was none before.  That hope will always linger in him.  And one day he may cling back to that hope with his very last breath.  For now, I'll keep enough hope for the two of us.

No comments:

Post a Comment