A word from Kathy...
What I'm saying when I say "I'm a Christian."
On my Facebook page I have posted a famous poem written by a women named Carol Wimmer, “When I Say I Am Christian”. It’s a beautiful poem that she wrote, I believe in 1988, she says as she wept over the haughtiness she was seeing in those that called themselves “Christians”. I’m not sure we have grown much in the last 30 yrs. but we keep pushing on.
When I say, “I am a Christian,” I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost! That’s why I chose this way”
When I say, “I am a Christian,” I don’t speak with human pride
I’m confessing that I stumble — needing God to be my guide
When I say, “I am a Christian,” I’m not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak and pray for strength to carry on
When I say, “I am a Christian,” I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting that I’ve failed and cannot ever pay the debt
When I say, “I am a Christian,” I don’t think I know it all
I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught
When I say, “I am a Christian,” I’m not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible but God believes I’m worth it
When I say, “I am a Christian,” I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His name
When I say, “I am a Christian,” I do not wish to judge
I have no authority — I only know I’m loved
As I was reading this poem I was reminded of a passage of scripture found in Isaiah. The children of Israel were pretty caught up in their own world. They were going through the rituals of the law but there was no heart, no love for God or others in it. They were full of self and while they may have been following they law they were also worshiping other
gods. Don’t we do the same thing – as Christ followers today we need to be reminded through a poem and through God’s word what it means to truly follow after Christ.
Isaiah 58: 6-12 tells us this: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 9Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
When you read this passage there is no doubt that God is wanting His people to humble themselves, look around them, see the needs of the poor and the needy. Putting this passage with this poem really drives home the heart of God, and as Christ followers, it should drive home the heart of all of us who call ourselves Christians. Our life on this planet isn’t about gathering more things and accumulating more wealth – it’s about loving people – helping those in need – sharing Christ with those who don’t know Him – ( in love) – in humility giving all that we are, and all that we have, for the sake of
This passage is definitely one of those “if’ and “then’s” in scriptures: “IF you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, THEN your light will rise in the darkness …. “ all through this passage it speaks of loosening the chains of injustice, untying the yoke of oppression and even breaking it. We are to share our food with the poor, give shelter to the wanderer, clothes to the naked and treat your family with kindness. - I’m not sure that means your immediate family I think it means, we are all family, and treat each other as family. Humbling ourselves before each other and serving one another as Christ came to serve to lost and hopeless.
This passage shows how important all this is to our Father because He goes over it all a second time. I hear Christians all the time fighting for this right or that right, or against this or against that. I see Christians hoarding wealth and buying more, bigger and better everything and maybe none of that is wrong as long as our hearts in the right place. What kind of fasting are we doing? What kind of Christian are we? What do we mean when we say we are a Christian? What does it mean to follow Christ? Jesus said if you are to follow after me you have to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. It’s in humility that we follow Christ and in that place we find joy and contentment, love and mercy, all that we are truly looking for in life.
I find this in my Uganda brothers and sisters. Many of them have so little, as far as material things of this world, but they have a faith and love for God that is amazingly beautiful. A hope in Him that I find contagious. The Joy that they find in serving Christ really is their strength. They haven’t put their hope in things of this world, or even in people but they have learned that their hope is in Jesus Christ, and in Him alone. I have learned so much from them over the years. In the mist of loss and sorrow they can still laugh and trust and believe. Believe that God’s word is true – that the last couple of vs in this passage is true – “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
They are faithful followers of Jesus Christ and love Him deeply. They help the poor and those in need. Those poorer than themselves and those needier than themselves. God has not blessed them with perfect health or with great riches, but His has blessed them with His presence and His great love. And I do know that either in this life or the life to come God will make them “Repairers of Broker Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” Because God always keeps His promises. We at DMI have the privilege to come alongside, and share what God has blessed us with with these wonderful people
And we have seen them grow, we have also seen heartache, but in it all God has met us and continues to meet us and as we work to do what God has commanded us.
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In Christ’s Service
Founder and President DMI