Monday, December 12, 2011

In The Dirt

Want to know what I love about God?  He's completely unpredictable.   He does things that are completely upside down and unexpected.  While the world looked to the sky waiting for the Messiah to come down with great procession and riches, Love came down in poverty - vulnerable, weak and helpless. 

Not only was the way He entered the world completely unexpected, but so was the city He chose.  Scripture says "Nazareth...can ANYTHING good come from there?"  I've often heard people refer to certain cities here in the U.S. as "the armpit of America". That's what Nazareth was...the armpit of the world.  So, of COURSE, that's where God chose to send His son.  Everything about how the Savior entered our world was revolutionary.  It didn't add up.  It made no sense. 

But you know what's really crazy? He chose to STAY.  He spent 30 years in the city of Nazareth.  Out of a place where there was nothing redemptive, came redemption Himself.  He stuck around the hell hole of Nazareth...He stayed with people in their brokenness, filth and pain.  He could have left.  He could have.  I'd never really thought about that before last night.  From day 1 on earth, God chose to BE WITH the marginalized, the least and the poor.  And not for just a moment, but for thirty years.  This is no fluke.  Jesus wanted to relate to us in our brokenness.  He didn't go live in a palace...that's not real life.  He went to the sick, the cast offs, the poor, the lonely.  He sat with them. He played with them as a child.  He laughed with them. He cried with them.  He LOVED them.  He REDEEMED them.  He entered their pain.  He went to them. He became lowly.  The God who placed the stars in the sky came so low.  And He stayed low.  He stayed in the dirt. 

Photo courtesy of Jobin Sam, who lives his life in the dirt with orphans in Calcutta

We must find the places of pain and heartbreak and live there because that's where Jesus is.  It doesn't mean we live depressed...God came to give us HOPE.  He came to call us out of our darkness and to live in the hope He offers.  But until we get acquainted with the grit, the grief and the sorrow of our world, just as Jesus did, we will miss Him.  WE WILL MISS HIM.  And I don't want to miss Him.  The thought of missing out on the fullness of who God is because I'm not WILLING to enter into the sadness of this world makes my heart hurt.  I want to be found willing.  O God, may I be found willing.

We see Jesus being in close proximity with the marginalized.  We see Him touching lepers.  Before I went to Korah (a leper colony in Ethiopia) the number one question I got asked was how I was going to protect myself and keep from getting leprosy.  May God deliver us from our mentality of being concerned for ourselves first.  If Jesus touched the lepers, why aren't we? If Jesus sought out the lonely, why aren't we? If Jesus was moved to tears by His compassion for His people, why aren't we? WHY AREN'T WE???

God chooses to reveal Himself through us to others.  Immanuel...God WITH us. God IN us. The nearness of God comes through the proximity of His people.  So, where are we?? Comfortably closed in our four walls?  If God's love is seen as we go, then I'd better find myself going.  I'd better be found engaging in people's messy lives.  Why wouldn't I if that's where Jesus is?? 

God came for me.  He came so low for me.  Will I choose to go low?  Who do I think I am that I shouldn't go low too?  God stooped so low to pick me up.  Do I realize that my soul will be satisfied more richly and fully when I choose the road of the broken? If I am running away from the low places, I am running the wrong direction.  God is not found where we think He would be.  The incarnation proved that.  He is found on the narrow path of the lowly.  He is found in their eyes, their tears, their smiles.  This is the God I've found...the God of the lowly.  And He's more beautiful than I possibly thought. 

May we be found willing...

Anathi's Story from Children's HopeChest on Vimeo.


  1. Thank you Amy for this beautiful post! You are a beautiful writer with and even more beautiful heart!

  2. Thank you, Amy! You have made me think once again about position and Jesus and what's really important. I can't wait to meet you in the flesh someday.