Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Our Present Mission Field

It's easy to glamorize anything you aren't doing presently while the work before you seems routine and dull.  We would all like to say we would go as missionaries if God called us. If we were on the mission field we would deal with the uncomfortable, the disruptions, the rude questions, the heat or the cold. We would love the unlovable, open our homes to strangers, preach Jesus in the streets. We would sacrifice sleep and our own desires. We would hold back the rude comments and the complaining. We say we would do those things if we were on the mission field. 

Who says we're not? 

Why isn't this place before us a mission field? Are we supposed to represent Christ any less here? Here in our homes, at our jobs? Here in America or where ever you are? Are we supposed to hold our lives of less worth because we don't have a title? Because we aren't in "full-time Christian service?" Does that make us only part-time Christians? 

I would say that I would calmly love the unlovable but how do I respond to my children when they are acting in unlovely ways? Do I act in a way that represents Christ or a way that satisfies my flesh and keeps me awake at night? 

I say that I would deal with the disruptions and the waiting but how do I act when my my schedule is interrupted or I have to wait at the doctor's office? How do I act when I've gotten my three children out and am then told we'll have to come back another time? Do I represent Christ less in that instance than I would if I were in Asia? 

Do people in other countries need to see Christ more than our neighbors do? 

I'm in no way discounting foreign missions. A good chunk of our monthly income goes to supporting foreign missions. But what's our excuse? Those of us who haven't gone. Are we giving ourselves a blank check that our place doesn't matter? Our testimony doesn't matter? That our families aren't worth the work that strangers would be? 

If it's about the name, give yourself one. Call yourself "resident mother missionary" or whatever you need to to make yourself see the work in light of eternity. 

My work is right here in rural Kentucky. This work with no title, no salary, no temporal compensation is just as important as serving in Africa. Why? Because this is where God has put me. How you are doing your work is much more important than where you are doing it. If you do it the right way God will put you where He wants you to be. 

If you won't love the unlovable in your home, you won't love the unlovable in Argentina. If you won't speak gracious words when people are rude and insulting in Wal-Mart, you won't do it in the market in the Middle East. If you won't give your time to the service of cleaning toilets and grocery shopping and changing diapers with running water, refrigerators, and diaper pails, you won't do it with brown-outs and trips to crowded markets. 

If you can't do it here, where the work and life is filled with conveniences, how can you do it somewhere where it's harder? Don't flatter yourself. You'd still be the same person if you were transported to another country and given the title "missionary." You'd still lose your temper and get frustrated with your kids. You'd still roll your eyes at your husband. You'd still stiffen up at the preaching instead of responding with a soft heart. 

Be it here. Tell yourself that you're a missionary because you are. Represent Christ where you are now and you'll represent Christ wherever you are. 
Do not waste time bothering whether you love your neighbor; act as though you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love them. C.S. Lewis


  1. Great perspective, thanks! It's so true that we need to follow those guidelines whether we go or stay because either way we are serving God.

    1. Exactly! It's not where we are it's our relationship with God.