When you love someone, you start to care about the things they care about. As I grow in love for my wife I learn to see from her perspective, value the things she values, and even love the things she loves.
The same is true for those who love God. As our love grows, our hearts are shaped to be like His as we see Him revealed in Scripture. In time we begin to celebrate good things like victory over addiction, unity in the Church family, and the healing of damaged relationships. We also begin to grieve injustice on a personal (addiction, bitterness, jealousy), communal (gossip, bullying, exclusion), and societal (homelessness, sex-trafficking, extreme poverty) level. And as our love grows we are called to act on these things that break God’s heart.
Do you remember the story of Moses and the burning bush? God reveals His plan to rescue Hebrew slaves, and I imagine Moses is ecstatic…at first.
God: I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out and I am concerned for their suffering…
God: So I have come down to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land…
Moses: Alright! That’s great!
God: I will bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land flowing with milk and honey…
Moses: This is terrific news!
God: So now, go. I am sending you.
Moses: Wait…what? You’re joking, right? I thought you were going to do it?!
God: I am going to do it. Now go, I am sending you.
See, when our hearts break for the things that break God’s heart, we’re not just meant to cry, or even just to pray, but to go—because God is going to act, and He is sending us. True purpose begins when we ask the question, “What do you care about, God?” and then act.
God said of the shepherd boy David, “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” I wonder how long it took God to find a person, just one person, who cared so deeply about God’s heart that he was willing to do?
Daughter, my prayer for you, for us, is that we would join with Samuel in asking, “speak LORD, your servant is listening,” Isaiah in offering, “Here am I! Send me!” and most of all, with Jesus as he offered himself lovingly and submissively to the Father, “Not my will, but Your’s be done.”
There is much to be done. In our homes, our communities, our world. Our God is looking for men and women willing to join Him in caring and acting on His heart.
Jesus tells a story about a landowner looking for workers for his vineyard. He goes into the marketplace and finds people standing around twiddling their thumbs. “Why are you standing around not doing anything?” he asks. “Sir, no one has hired us,” they respond. The landowner replies, “Well then come work for me!”
In a culture starving for purpose and significance, people standing around not doing anything, hear the invitation of our dangerous Friend and Lord who calls us to follow him into the dead places of the world where he will bring life. He still has a plan to free slaves. Now go, he is sending you.