living a life like Christ

“the missionary is required to ‘renounce himself and everything that up to this point he considered as his own, and to make himself everything to everyone.’ this he does by a poverty which sets him free for the Gospel, overcoming attachment to the people and the things about him, so that he may become a brother to those to whom he is sent and thus bring them Christ the Savior” (Redemptoris Missio, par. 88).

woof, that’s a lot. renounce himself and everything that he considers his own? be everything to everyone? i don’t even know where to begin. this quote makes my stomach churn and my heart soar all at the same time. this is what it means to live a life like Christ?

am i really suppose to drop everything and follow Him wherever?

well yes…and fortunately He has landed us in st. louis, at a good job, with good people and a new couch.

sure sometimes when Jesus says poverty he means to be poor in pocket. yesterday i had to walk a mile and a half to the grocery store to get food for dinner. i  packed my backpack up and carried another bag in my hand and started my journey uphill both ways (you know how it goes). as i was walking and thinking about the decision nate and i made not to get a second car i felt inconvenienced. in a few short weeks we will be in our apartment less than a mile from where nate works – he can walk or ride his bike and on especially cold or rainy days i can drive him, it’s really quite ideal to be so close. and that means the car stays with me to use. but we’re not there yet and nate still needs the car to get to work so here am i, wallowing in self pity and mourning the car i so hoped to have this fall.

on my twenty-five minute walk uphill both ways i remembered our neighbor jackie. she lives just up the road from us and almost every day i see her out walking, bringing a dinner plate to an elderly friend or on her way to church or rolling a small cart down to the grocery store. jackie doesn’t have a car and every week she takes her cart down to the shop’n’save. as i thought about jackie shame rushed over me. i had taken for granted the fact that having one or even no car is the reality of so many and yet i silently complain over this minor inconvenience.

sometimes when Jesus says poverty he means to be poor in pocket. it is a poverty to me to not have a second car simply because i want one for my own. but moving my two feet as fast as i can to avoid the rain with twenty pounds of groceries on my back is not a poverty. i now realize it is a grace to be like jackie. i now see that by giving up a car has allowed me to honor my friend and to understand her way of life, to become a sister walking alongside her.

sometimes when Jesus says poverty he means to be poor in spirit. Jesus said “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God” (Mt 5:3, NAB).

“the missionary is required to ‘renounce himself and everything that up to this point he considered as his own, and to make himself everything to everyone.’ this he does by a poverty which sets him free for the Gospel, overcoming attachment to the people and the things about him, so that he may become a brother to those to whom he is sent and thus bring them Christ the Savior” (Redemptoris Missio, par. 88).

the kingdom of God belongs to those who are poor in spirit because it is brought to this earth by those who are poor in spirit, who are self emptying instead of self seeking, who are givers instead of takers. those who are following the path that leads to the foot of the cross.

we don’t need a lot of things in this life. i don’t need a car or cable or a new dress, even though some days i think i do. what we need, you and me, is a heart that is poured out for others, a heart that can say “it’s not about me, it’s about Him and His mission and His people.”

if that’s what Jesus means by poverty, then i’m in, are you?

with love,

kiera

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One thought on “living a life like Christ

  1. i have the same experience. Everyday driving to work I see another woman dressed in scrubs, I assume she is walking to work. And I say to myself, I am so lucky to have a car to drive to my job, Lord please help me to remember my day can’t be that bad today, I don’t have to walk to work in bad weather. And when I start to get whiny or pouty about something happening at work, I just remember that woman who has a more difficult day than I do, just because she has to start out sweaty in the summer or freezing in the winter.

    Like

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