Friday, February 25, 2011


Lately I've been feeling a very strong urge to step outside of my comfort zone again.

There was a time when I was regularly crossing that border to minister to prostitutes in Santa Ana at 12am, or hosting hot dog picnics with the homeless in Costa Mesa and hoping the cops didn't try to shut us down.

Over the last few years I've slowly settled into the comfort of my daily routine. I've given myself permission to spend my time on myself and as a result I've been less and less engaged in the lives of others around me. Not just the poor, but those in my community, my neighborhood, even my own house church family.

Slowly I've been awakening as if from a long nap and I'm discovering once again a strong desire to pursue Jesus outside of my comfort zone.

Truth be told, this is where you'll find Jesus. He's out there. He's moving among the poor. He's near to the destitute. He's wrapping his arms around the homeless. He's weeping over the prostitute. He's grieving with the hopeless. Just as he was when he walked this Earth over 2,000 years ago, Jesus is always "out there" where the broken and the forgotten are crying out for love.

So, right now I just know that I need to rediscover Jesus in the street and I'm feeling, personally, a need to be challenged more in this area of my life.

Someone reminded me the other day that the word "Compassion" means "to suffer with". If we do not make ourselves available to those who are suffering, we can't truly know what compassion is all about.

I know that I need to start leaving my comfort zone more often to encounter Jesus in the world around me, and specifically among the poor where I live.

My friend Thomas Crisp has been spending his Sunday mornings hanging out with the homeless at a local shelter. Together we've been trying to explore how to create an incarnational expression of Jesus among the poor here in Orange County. Meaning nothing more than he and I sitting down and having a meal with people living on the streets. Not to fix them. Not to evangelize. But to allow the Holy Spirit to change us (and them) in the process of sharing a meal and inviting Jesus to be with us.

It's simple, yet it's bold. It's quiet, but it's radical. It's small, but it's powerful enough to transform a human soul into the image of Jesus. At least, that's what I'm about to find out.


1 comment:

Dora said...

Thankyou Keith, really appreciate your honest heart, helps to break down walls or show padded walls in my own heart.