Mission: Seashell

4 Aug


Just got back from the beach with the family where Ang and I did some walking and seashell hunting. Seashells are hard to find in the dry, bleached-white fluffy sand. This sand hasn’t seen the surf in many days and has been tromped on by many beach-goers. In the hard packed sand near the surf, the walking is easy, but we still found only a few shells. Then Angie started noticing some in the edge of the surf. They would wash up, and if you were very, very quick you could grab or trap them before they were pulled back out with the retreating wave or covered with a fresh layer of sand. Finally I started wading in the calf deep surf. I found a couple of really nice 4” shells, their orange color really popped against the dark kaki sand bottom (OK I watch HGTV sometime).
I started thinking how that whole seashell hunt is how many of us live our Christian lives. We spend an hour or two a week in our bleached-white, fluffy churches. This is where most of us really get decked out in our Christian persona, wearing it like a big fluffy robe. Don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing wrong with this place, as we all need a soft comfy place to soak up a little Son, but I’m not sure I’ve encountered a lot of people desperately needing Christ here(or maybe I have)! I have encountered a lot of people in big fluffy robes like me though. Even though we say our doors are open to all, I’m not sure “the least of these” come close enough to hear that message.
The hard-packed, slightly dingier, stretch of sand is where we spend most of our lives. This is where we live and work and we really get our best traction here. Some of us take our fluffy robes off before getting here and don’t show much of a Christian side and some of us do a bit better and wear our Christianity kind of like a T-shirt. Can’t knock this place too much, again we spend most of our lives here and there are many family, friends and strangers who need us to be that example of Christ’s mercy to them. However, there are a bunch of Christian t-shirts around and wonder if some of us need to stake out some new territory to do some God-work in?
If we’re brave enough, we could venture into the surf. The few people I see there wear their Christianity much like Navy Seals with snorkeling gear and carrying a life-saving buoy and rope. It is certainly not as comfy as the fluffy or firm sand. This place also has more risks. You can’t see exactly what you’re walking into and you might get knocked down by the waves, but many of “the least of these” are here. God keeps lifting them out of the depths of their suffering and pushes them to shore, hoping some of us are there, scrambling to grab hold of them before the undertow sucks them back. I think Jesus spent a lot of time in places like these. I think that means we’re called to spend a lot of time here as well, but I don’t see many, not even myself. Luke Chapter 10 verse 2 says “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest”.
Come on, let’s take the plunge! Are you nervous? Yeah me to, but we’ll find courage in numbers and I bet we’ll find it an exhilarating experience!

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