Finding Jesus

So I happen to be in love with Gungor.  I think the music is odd, in a good way, and that they try to step outside the bounds of what stations like New Life 91.9 presents to the Charlotte area as Christian music.  It is bomb ass music.  I love it.  To that end, Wesley reserved some tickets to a local show he was playing.  Winning!!  It was AMAZING!!!  The opener, The Brilliance, was also pretty great.  I love kick ass cello players.  Either way, it being the end of the semester and all, we had a few extra tickets because students are busy and stressed out.  Knowing an old friend was interested in joining I invited her along for the ride.

A few months ago I applied for a Young Adult Missionary position with the General Board of Global Ministries through the United Methodist Church.  I was selected for an interview in New York at the end of March, and I am….not so patiently… awaiting the results.  Of course the longer I wait the more I think they are NEVER going to choose me, but oh how I wish they would!!!  It would be the most wonderful thing of which I could ever be included.  This friend that I asked to join us at the concert, proof read one of my essays for the application, and on the ride up was inquiring about the potential new position and what the interviews were like ect.  She then said something interesting.  She said, ‘wow that would be great!  You’d get to bring Jesus to the world.’  My friend means well, but I have some serious problems with that statement, the following outlines some of them.

  1.  Can I pack Jesus in my suitcase?  I will be taking a lot of clothes, soap, and batteries with me, I don’t know if Jesus can fit in the suitcase.  Do you think that airport security would have a problem with Jesus being there?
  2. More seriously, as far as I know the only being I am taking anywhere is myself.  No cats, dogs or sisters.  I’m taking me.
  3. Speaking of the world, as far as I know I will be in two places.  That hardly qualifies as the world….
  4. The reason I’m only taking myself, Jesus is already there.  This ‘job’ wouldn’t be about bringing Jesus anywhere, it would be about finding Him everywhere.  About seeing the handprints of God on this Earth.  God is everywhere, He is already among people that are hurting and delighting, people that are poor and rich.  God is there.  We call God omnipresent for a reason.

I think that part of the problem with the way that missionaries have been and are viewed is this thought of them bringing Jesus to these ‘other’ people.  The problem with that is that I don’t see mission work like that at all….  Perhaps my thoughts are incorrect, but I see mission work being about finding Jesus.  Growing deeper in your own faith while among others.  I think it is also about showing and finding the unending love and compassion of our savior.  You can show it and find it by serving with mutuality among those in your new community.  So should I get this dream position, I hope to find Jesus, to find that my faith is strengthened through an authentic presentation of God’s presence on this earth; because we are called to go out and seek the people of this earth to behold and to be a witness of God’s love for us all.  Or at least that’s what I think…..

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One thought on “Finding Jesus

  1. It’s funny that you posted this because I’ve been thinking about that conversation off and on since we had it. I think a more appropriate thing for me to say about your position would be, “It’s so awesome that you can bring the MESSAGE of Jesus to people in a far off place.” I remember how you responded and it was something like what you said in statement #4 up there, and then I remember thinking inside my head, “What?! Does she think I’m stupid that I don’t know that God is all around us AND inside us?” I think what I meant was that it’s really cool that you’ve been called to show people that they can have a relationship with Jesus, that there is a God they can talk to as a friend and who will talk back, through HIs Spirit. I agree with you also that you will probably also grow a lot in your own faith in your experience.

    As far as bringing Jesus to “other” people, maybe this is something I need to think about. I don’t think you’re wrong at all when you say that finding Jesus is part of mission work… and maybe it is about finding that part of a person’s heart that longs for God and allowing them to meet Him. I do think it’s all about meeting people where they are and sharing with them what the Spirit allows you to share, on their time, when they are ready for it. Pushiness is not the way to go at all.

    I’m going to Haiti this summer with my church for an eight day mission trip, and though it’s nothing like what you’re doing, I’m scared to death. I’m afraid I’m going to do missions “wrong” somehow, that I’m not ready (not to mention I’m somewhat high maintenance and like hot showers, which won’t be available at the orphanage we’re visiting). Anyway, this has been my philosophy about missions (sort of), for most of my life…

    “We do not draw people to Christ
    by loudly discrediting what they believe,
    by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are,
    but by showing them a light that is so lovely
    that they want with all their hearts
    to know the source of it.”
    – Madeline L’Engle (remember A Wrinkle in Time?)

    We are called to let our light shine, over and over again, and our whole lives should be about letting that light in our hearts out and about kindling it to make it grow strong. When I pray about my own mission trip, though, I feel like God’s telling me I can go, but I need to be somewhat more intentional about sharing God’s love with people here first. I never hide who I am around anyone, but I have a couple of friends from college, that I see somewhat regularly, that I need to share more with…. and I guess I need to do more than talk about the fun thing our pastor said on Sunday night; I guess I need to say some more about why my God is so awesome.

    I’ve gotten totally off your original post now, but, anyway, I’m glad you posted about it. I’ve been wondering if what we believed was totally different, but from what you said, it sounds like we believe the same thing.

    P.S. — I’m pretty sure you were saying your organization sent people to every continent except Antarctica because there are no people in Anarctica, and I said, “Right, cause you can’t bring Jesus to the penguins.” I was trying to be funny.

    P.P.S. — Gungor rocks, The Brilliance will be playing in the movie version of our lives if we die in a car crash, and cellos make everything better.

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