“How’d you get to be so old and not know nothing.” This favorite line from a forgotten movie or book used to be funny. The older I get the more I think it describes me! I wish I knew more. I wish I could do more of what I know needs done.
Some friends and I chatted with Jabi this past week in Sicily. I’d met him there in November, heard some of his journey from Gambia and talked to him a little bit about Jesus. His situation has deteriorated since: He’s living on the street now, has no work, doesn’t go to school and hustles just to eat.
And honestly, he’s a little tired of Christians telling him they care, that God cares, but then not making things different.
What does the “care of God” look like in real life? The Psalms ping pong between “God, why are you killing us?” and “Thank you for giving us no end of good stuff!” Philip Yancey sums up Jesus’s beatitudes with “Lucky are the unlucky!” I snarkily scoff at the “prosperity gospel,” all the while not worrying a bit about where my next meal is coming from, nor the one after that.
What do I know of Jabi’s life? What does God want for him? What can I really do for him? And then there’s this: Jabi represents a few hundred thousand guys in Sicily, who themselves are just a small percentage of the 65 million people, mostly Muslim, currently displaced from their homes.
If this all makes you want to grab a beer and watch a baseball game, I can relate. But somehow, let’s don’t give up. Let’s do what God puts in front of us, extend grace to those who cross our path. Finally this: if you know someone who can train a thousand lay people to do PTSD counseling or help start a thousand small businesses, let me know.