Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Guest Blog//What If We....(please read)

My friend Cody spent a year in Ch*na working as an official teacher and a covert missionary to college students. I heard him share this story

and I can NEVER, ever be the same.

This story begs the question:

Cody's Story....
I would like to tell you a story of what I experienced while being a missionary to Ch*na. I had been in the city of Guanghzou for my first two months working with the underground Church. Everything seemed to be going great until one week God totally flipped my world upside down.

I always noticed a homeless beggar that sat on a sidewalk. What was really interesting about this man is that he would only come out at night. He was almost ashamed of being seen in his state during the day. So one night on my way back from leading a bible study I walked past this man. I felt like I should help him out so I put a little money in the bowl that he kept in front of him as he sat on the disgusting sidewalk. (Sidewalks in Ch*na are not the cleanest to say the least (!) and it is considered a place for only the most lowly). I walked on after giving him the money and felt good about myself. I felt like I had shown that man the love of Christ. Then later that night as I got in bed I realized that I should have done more.

So the next day I went and bought the man some bread and a bottled water. I handed it to him, smiled and went on my day feeling once again that I had shown the love of Christ to this man. As I lay down in my bed that night God spoke right to my heart like he never had before. I realized, "Yeah, I'm giving him money and food, but is that showing the love of Christ?
I realized that it wasn't showing His love, because after all, Muslims have the command to give to the poor in their religion, Buddhists also have the command to help the poor, Atheists for the most part help others in need.

In fact, all of these groups had done these same things I had been doing with this homeless man. So how was I to show this man the love of Christ? How did that look different from what they were doing? So God spoke to me and showed me what He did to show people love. God spoke to my heart and the following few days changed my life.
I walked by the man as I did many nights before. I walked by him and went about a block away to a noodle shop. There I bought some soup and noodles, food that he could never afford to buy but for me, the sacrifice was nothing. I walked over to him and handed him the noodles. He looked up at me, took the food, and said "Thank you," in Ch*nese. But the next thing really caught him off guard.
I sat down next to him and crossed that taboo barrier. I pulled out my own soup and noodles and started to eat next to him on the dirty sidewalk.
I remember him just staring over at me for what seemed like forever. I can't help but wonder if he was thinking: "Is this big white stranger going to hurt me?" (I am a big man.) But eventually he went back to eating his noodles. I practiced some of my Chinese with him, introducing myself, telling him where I was from, what my name was.
People walked by and their faces said it all. It was obvious as they passed by that they had never before seen this rather unusual sidewalk friendship. I had a great conversation with him and he had opened up by the end of it. I got up, said goodbye, and went home. Over the next week I returned with my friend and some soup and noodles. I got to know him very well and was eventually able to tell him about Christ's love for him.
One night he wrote on a napkin we had. He wrote in Chinese something that I will treasure always.
It translated to "You are the greatest man I have ever met."

I didn't know what to think when I later found out the meaning of the words. But that night was the last time I saw him. They probably found out about an American sitting with him and kicked him out into the small villages in order to keep China's positive image. But what he wrote stuck with me. Once again I got in my bed that night and God spoke to me. I realized that I am far from a great man, and in fact I am a man that is terrible, but through this terrible man the homeless beggar saw the Greatest Man, Jesus. It was the first time that I have ever felt like Jesus completely used me one hundred percent, like I was just a spectator. It felt good and fueled my passion to not just do a little something extra, but rather to really show people what the difference is between doing good things and showing a person the true love of Christ.

Now, I ask you friends. Are you any different from an atheist, a Muslim, a Buddhist, or a Hindu? We all do nice and good things, but what makes what we are doing any different from what they are doing? We need to truly share the love of Christ with people in a way that we are sometimes secretly scared to. That is what makes Jesus the amazing man that He is! He went the extra distance to show people that he actually cared about them and not just their needs. So, what are you going to do about it?

Today is the day, friends.

What if We....


Christy said...

Whoa Deep!

Susan said...

That was an incredibly beautiful story. Amazing what can happen when we simply listen and obey His word.

Brittany said...

That was some good stuff :)

Susie said...

Thanks for sharing...good news for my heart! God IS ALIVE and well!

Jenny C said...

Thank you for this challenge, not to do just good things, but to show Christ to those I meet!