Wednesday, January 30, 2008

dirt, glorious dirt!!!

I seem to recall somewhere in distant memory writing about this very idea. If so, and you read it back then, please don't think I'm being repetitive. This is, to borrow a well worn phrase, called "progressive revelation." I'm at a conference in Atlanta, and yesterday I heard one of the speakers, a guy from Liberia, West Africa, talk about Jesus putting dirt and spit on a blind man's eyes to heal him. Now I've taught on this many times in the past and really enjoy the shock value of watching people respond to the revelation of why He (Jesus) did it.

Today however, I wanted to highlight something the speaker brought to light that I'd never really seen before. He was talking about a ministry of compassion to people less fortunate than us, and he gave as an example the suffering, often forgotten people in Darfur and other war ravaged areas of the world. He showed a heart-rending photo of a morbidly emaciated child, barely able to crawl trying to get to a food supply center about a mile away. In this award winning photo, a vulture is patiently trotting along behind the child, waiting for him to expire so it can feast on his flesh.

Then he opined that, in a ministry of compassion, Jesus always tended to use whatever local resources that were available, to bring about restoration. He reminded us that, with a wave of His hand, Jesus could have healed the blind man but instead He chose to use the dirt. Common, plentiful and free! Then he looked dead-pan at the audience and asked, "Is there any dirt where you do ministry?" Dirt being the operative word for whatever local resources you have available to you. Wow! That revelation was canorous music to my ears. Suddenly I'm brimming with ideas about all the "dirt" that I have available to effectively involve myself in a ministry of compassion just like Jesus. I can spend less so that I can give more for one thing. Is there any dirt where you do ministry?


Moose Man said...

I am looking forward to all the dirty jobs well be doing once you get back.