I would love to be a real-life missionary; to pack up family and relocate to some obscure, remote overseas locale.
I would live off the land, rough it, and pour my heart out in service to the Lord.
Handsome Husband and I once sold all our belongings, vacated our beautiful home, and began an arduous immigration process (with a certain socialized island nation that might very well be the most difficult country to migrate to on the planet) to pursue such a dream– yet here we remain in middle-class, suburban Montana.
Yet… are we exempt from missional service while stationed here in the comfort of the First World? Does God care any less for the hurting here in our privileged community? Is there not suffering, social injustice, in our own zip code?
Must I really change geographical coordinates to be a missionary, to serve the Lord? Aren’t all Christ-followers his ambassadors?
These were among my personal gleanings from Jen Hatmaker’s recent revision of her book “Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity“. Chronicling the inception of their urban Texas church-plant, the Hatmakers’ motto is “Love your neighbor, Serve your city”. They advocate a “missional” approach to life– which can mean, in a nutshell, to bloom (or bear fruit) where you’re planted.
I would love the adventure and challenge of full-time service to the marginalized in the far reaches of the world, but that isn’t what He has chosen for my family. Least not for now. To assume that lets us off the hook from serving the least of these, makes an a** out of you and me. (Get it? a** + u + me = ASSUME.)
Our earthly assignments are brief, in the grand scheme of things, a vapor. What can we do with the time and resources allotted to us? Love your[my] neighbor, serve your[my] city.