Learning the unforced rhythms of grace


Just Ask

A few days ago, we met an interesting man. He, quite unexpectedly, began to talk to us about his burden for the corrupt system of government, injustice, over-consumption of stuff, the lack of value in using things until they wear out and how religion often fails people.

We listened, tried to get to know him more and hopefully offer dignity and respect to this moment with him. He obviously needed to talk.

Part way through the hour, I asked him, "What do you do with this huge vision that you have for what is corrupt and what you wish it could become?" He laughed and said, "When you have such a burden, the only thing you can do at the end of the day is drink rum!" And he was serious.

In some ways, I think I understand . . . and I wondered how different he is from many of us. Maybe we don't drown our burdens in rum, but maybe we numb the pain in other ways.

Today I read Jesus' words in Matthew 9:35-38  and was struck with the fact that Jesus looked around at the needs of the people–felt the burden–and then simply told His disciples what to do about this burden. He said, "Ask the Lord. . ." He didn't say, 'now go and solve this problem yourself' or 'let's think about it all evening . . . '. He simply said, "Ask".

I wonder how often we grovel around complaining or worrying or striving to see change when our first response could be to ask God to do something.

How would the condition of your heart change if your first response was to ask God? Would that give you the courage to face the pain in your world more freely? Would that give you hope that you don't have to solve it all yourself? What would it be like if you became someone who asks . . . ?