I must confess I have become a bit of a news junkie related to Haitian earthquake. Honestly, I am not into the giant telethon fundraisers. Don’t misunderstand, I am extremely supportive of what they are trying to accomplish. I just happen to believe that if you cannot become convinced or convicted to financially support the victims of this tragedy by seeing the faces and the destruction, then I might be tempted to wonder how convincing and convicting songs can be – even those from the likes of Bono and Springsteen. However, enough of that. One of the most amazing things that I have seen during this blanket of media coverage happened with the juxtaposition of two stories a few nights ago. The first story was one of a miracle – the discovery of a few survivors just recovered after 11 days of being trapped in the rubble. The second was the order by the Haitian government to cease all rescue and recovery efforts and to instead focus on the safety of those who have survived. Whether intentionally or not, the news director made an amazing statement by placing those two stories side by side. Please, hear my heart. I am not questioning the motives or decisions of the Haitian government. I am thousands of miles away and this tragedy is their life so I trust that their decision was not made haphazardly.
The real reason for this little rant is that I wonder if we do the same thing in churches. I wonder if we have called off the search for those outside our walls because we are not really convinced that there are still those who will respond positively to the message of the cross. I wonder if we have inadvertently encouraged those around us to be about the business of protecting those inside our walls rather than equipping them and releasing them to return to the streets to search out those who need to hear about Jesus. I wonder if we are making a judgment call about the state of the world around us without the authority to make such a call. To be sure, the Haitian government has the authority and the responsibility to determine how to utilize the resources at her disposal. As Christ-followers, we have no such authority. We have no authority to change the commands given to us by Christ. We have no authority to reorient our focus. We have no authority at all unless our focus is on fulfilling His mission through His means in His way. When Jesus was being criticized for spending too much time with sinners and tax collectors, He responded by informing everyone that His purpose was to seek and save that which was lost. I wonder if the world sees our actions as revealing that purpose. Or has our purpose become more akin to entertaining those who pay the bills? Please do not hear what I am not saying. You will struggle to find a stronger proponent of discipleship and Biblical teaching than me, but discipleship and Biblical teaching must have a purpose. If Jesus’ purpose was seeking and saving, and our actions are not revealing this purpose, then what has become of our focus? We cannot change the past, but we can refocus our tomorrow on the purpose of God. What’s your focus going to be?