I’m pretty sure that most of you reading this don’t know Allen Henderson.
You never experienced his LARGER THAN LIFE presence.
You never heard his (in)famous pig call ringing through the sky.
Probably never got a big bear hug from him, listened to one of his sermons, sat through one of his children’s chapel talks, or sat down and had a beer and meal with him.
So, why would you care that on October 2nd in the late afternoon in front of his church, responding to a call, he was beaten to death? Why should you care that he was within weeks of retiring from full-time ministry? Why should you care that he leaves behind 7 grandchildren and his dear wife, Kris? Why should you care that he served as chaplain for the Ft. Dodge Police department? Why should you care about Ft. Dodge, Iowa? Why should you care that the new pastor is coming next month and has some pretty big shoes to fill?
You don’t know him. Your lives didn’t intersect.
So, why should you care?
The news ABOUT people bombards us. The stories ABOUT peoples’ plights and losses, and life-experiences wash over us…frequently leaving us numb to their reality. The stories lack a certain human element. We’re removed. Not close to it. Because we don’t know them, their stories don’t impact us.
Why should I care?
And, the frequency and depth of the stories, on TV, Radio, Facebook, Instagram, leave us numb. We have heard it all so many times. Nothing is surprising anymore. Their stories don’t impact us.
Why should I care?
The volume of hurt and need in our world is so overwhelming that we despair. We couldn’t possibly put a dent in the pain. Too deep. Too much. So, we choose to remain distant. If we were to care about all of it, we wouldn’t be able to handle it. We can only take so much. I have enough hurt and need in my own circle of influence to occupy my heart, to fill my calendar.
Why should I care?
Isn’t it true that unless the need strikes close to home, we are inclined to not care…that much.
Within that reality, there is a truth that calls us. It goes something like this:
- God so loved the world that He gave… (John 3:16)
- As the Father has sent me, even so, I am sending you! (John 20:21)
God cares! So much so that He offered up His only Son and sent Him NEAR!
He compels us to care enough to come NEAR!
So, at the beginning of a new month, and a new quarter of planning…the final push to the end of another calendar year, I’ve been thinking…
- Let’s not allow Elsa and Karen and her small team of servants be the only ones who care about feeding hungry families.
- Let’s not allow Emily and her amazing team of servants and parents to love and care about our youth.
- Let’s not allow our professional preschool staff to be the only ones who care for the families in our community.
- Let’s not allow a few to care about 1:1 discipling and encouraging others in their walk with Jesus.
- Let’s not allow someone else to share the Gospel of Hope in Jesus with someone who is not yet a follower of Jesus.
- Let’s not allow our amazing team of caregivers who visit the sick and shut-ins be the only ones who care.
- Let’s not allow organizations like DAIS, and individuals like Alex Gee be the only ones who care about the societal epidemics that are killing us.
- Let’s not allow 20 families be the only ones who care about our AM2FM campaign enough to give sacrificially to eliminate our mortgage and secure our future for vibrant ministry to this community and this county.
- Let’s not allow someone else to support the church financially so we can have all we need to connect people to life in Jesus.
Let’s not sit back and assume that someone else will care.
Let’s not only care about our own interests and let “others” care.
Let’s not allow overwhelm to leave us numb to the hurts and pains we see.
Let’s not allow the assumption that “it will never change” leave us inactive and unresponsive.
Let’s not be deceived that “feeling sorry” for someone’s predicament is actually caring.
My invitation this month is to open your heart to Jesus. Watch Him as we ask the question “Why Should I Care?” Watch, listen, learn, and then…follow Him!