A short phrase with a lot of weight. I’m sure some of you (if not all) have seen the hashtags being used. I’m not getting into that debate, but I was struck by the different ways the phrase in my title can be used. Am I saying LIFE matters or am I saying life MATTERS or am I talking about matters(issues) concerned with life?
All of them I think. I look around and see so many people whose lives don’t matter to me. Because if they did I would care more, I would pray more, I would do more. Not just if they have life but the quality of that life. Why should I care? Because God does.
Do I think God intended us to live in such inequality? Where some of us go to bed at night, safe, warm, overfed and surrounded by comfort while others shiver in the cold, have gnawing hunger in their bellies, have nothing, not even the surety they will sleep in safety. The more I read the minor prophets the more convinced I am (and I was pretty convinced before) that this is absolutely not what God intended. And when I sit back complacent I make His Name a mockery. It’s not enough to cry out that LIFE matters and do nothing about making that life worth living.
Trust me this is not a blog of self-righteousness. I am speaking to myself first and foremost because I am guilty of being asleep in the light.
Life matters to God. All life and what happens in those lives matters to Him too. It’s not about my ‘vocation’, it’s not about being a Missionary or an Evangelist it’s about fulfilling my calling to be a missionary and evangelist. I might never leave my city, but I am still a missionary both in my locale and in the world. I might never stand on a platform and preach to thousands, but I am still an evangelist because I carry good news.
It’s not about giving money either. I can donate to charities, but that doesn’t remove my responsibility where I am. I met a guy in a car park when we were buying our Christmas tree. He was drenched because we had had torrential rain for days. He was homeless and asking if he could take out cart/trolley back for some spare change. I gave him money, chatted to him, learned his name and blessed him. Then I drove home to my warm house. I know Mark would have agreed without hesitation to bring him home, give him a hot meal, dry his clothes, let him share our home for a while, but I let the opportunity slip through my fingers cos we were busy. I’ve prayed for him and even typing that makes me cringe in one way because I hear James.
This blog sprang from a verse in Psalm 133
Yes, from this place, the Eternal spoke the command,
from there He gave His blessing—life forever.
I wonder how enticing life forever sounds to people with no hope, with no understanding of what blessing God can give? If all life is a struggle, if it is filled with discomfort, danger, hunger, pain and misery who would want to live forever? And all my words of God loves you, God cares for you mean not a lot when I don’t care and I don’t love. I know full well that God can do what needs to be done despite me, but He’s chosen me, appointed me, sent me. I can’t solve the problems of the world – war, famine, disease, poverty. But I can be a faithful and active witness of what God has done and can do in lives. My life matters to Him, so do theirs.