Monday, June 06, 2011

Hungry for God, Chapter 3

Every day I take a shower. It is not an option, I must take a shower. Even when I worked for a camp, almost hundred miles and an hour car ride down a very windy mountain road to the nearest big town, I took a shower--everyday.

If I do not wash my hair for even one day, I am uneasy about my oily hair, and I feel that I smell foul.

I cannot imagine missing a day. A month would be beyond my dreams, rather it would be a nightmare!

My dealings with the poor and the homeless have been limited, safe and at a distance. I have brought junior high kids to the inner city and skid road to experience and see the tragedies of people living less than 20 miles from our comfortable and big homes where we all take nice hot showers, everyday.

I have taken church groups to other poor parts of Orange County to offer a hot meal, once a month. Only once a month. It was always a struggle to get individuals and families to sign up to serve. Prior to serving the hot, and simple meal, the group would stop at Carl’s Jr. for a burger and fries. My goal was to get the groups going to eat alongside the individuals they were serving. Make connections and make relationships, get to know the individuals you are serving. They have lives and stories.

It never happened.

I believe the reason my goal never came to fruition was because of an unwillingness to face the reality that this individual I am talking to could be me. An unwillingness to face the uncomfortable and to be with someone who has gone without a shower for days or months. An unwillingness to face the uncomfortable and to face that undesirable stench that comes off someone unclean.

I pray that my eyes would be opened and that I would sense a different smell, a more desirable smell...

Margaret shares a story in chapter 3 about Jim Cymbala praying with a homeless man, up close and personal, in spite of the filth and smell coming off this homeless man. It took a God sized prompting, “Jim, if you and your wife have any value to me, if you have any purpose in my work--it has to do with this odor. This is the smell of the world I died for.”

This is the smell of the world I died for…

This is the smell of the world I died for…

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