emmanuel

emmanuel

From I Like Being Five Years Old, an entry by Debi Sanders last week on the inward/outward website:

My friend Kim, who worked with Good Shepherd Ministries for the last ten years, just returned from a year in Haiti where her only “job” was to be with people and build friendships. The Haitians were in awe that an American would come to live with them and not try to “fix” them or improve them or undertake a project.

Jesus certainly did “fix” people’s lives. He healed their diseases, forgave their sins, challenged them to give up their “idols.” But, first of all, he was Emmanuel, God with us. He ate with “undesirables.” He engaged in lengthy conversations with Jewish lawyers and Samaritan women. He invested himself fully and personally in a small group of close friends. Jesus modeled for us a lifestyle of service, but a servanthood that begins just by being there, by being with, by entering into relationship.

That’s why I like Debi Sanders’ description of her friend’s “job” and the reaction of her Haitian friends so much. It takes profound humility — and deep respect — to be ready to spend time with people instead of “coming to their rescue.” And when you are ready to do that, you may just find out along the way that you have as much to gain as to give. You may find out that you needed rescuing just as much! And you will be doing what Jesus does …

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