Friday, April 23, 2010

Charity as commanded, 2.

I often attempt to justify ignoring others' needs or not loving them. This rebellion surfaces when my own needs--especially pain--make me feel entitled to whatever I want and feel. I have rejected community, to avoid getting messy and enmeshed and also to avoid being a burden, to pursue self-sufficiency and my own benefit. Fear is masked with intentions of love and protection. I draw lines:

Me, mine, you, yours.

If you love me, respect the boundaries: Those are yours, these are mine, don't touch. My needs are mine, my gifts are mine, my time is mine, my goals are mine, my life is mine. My friends, my family. My purposes, my plans, my pursuits... Mine. To choose to give or to keep.

I have asked:
Why is such costly, crazy love owed in obedience?
And how is it possibly sustainable?!

I have not gone unanswered:
You are not your own. Your land is Mine. Its produce is Mine. The labors of your hands and of your heart are Mine. All that is yours is yours because I give it to you. It is Mine to give and Mine to take away. You are Mine. I made you for Myself. Lev 25, 1 Chr 29.10-19, Col 1.16, Augustine.

I command and enjoin you to share what is yours—which is Mine—with all who are Mine. Don't worry about not having enough to live. I will give manna for the day. Deut 8.
By faith you will leave the corners uncut—they belong to the poor and needy ever amongst you. You will not wait for them to beg. They will come to your corners—even your home—in dignity, for I have shown you to love mercy. Lev 19.9, Deut 14.22-29, Micah 6.8.
You also are poor and needy, yet this is no excuse to withhold good. Even if you feel you have nothing and feel justified in your selfishness, even if you come to depend entirely on others’ obedient caregiving, you shall first give your uncut portion. Numbers 18:26
I am enough. Trust Me. Believe into My sufficiency for your weakness, My fullness for your hunger, My riches for your wretchedness, My help for your unbelief. I am gracious.
If you remain in me, your cup overflows even as it is emptied and poured out--I will be your portion and the strength of your heart. Ps 23, 2 Tim 4, Ps 73.26
Through many means, I am reminded of who God is, of what nothing I am and have without him. Knowing him, his name, his character are key. Doubting and forgetting these cause me to disobey...

so Lord, show me Your heart and lay mine bare. Show me Your way and give me strength to obey. Help me remember.

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