Hmm… what does it REALLY mean to be missional ? What does it look like to live life on purpose versus simply meandering along ? This morning, I went to Dunkin’ Donuts to grab a doughnut. As I was walking down the street to my car, I saw the 3 neighborhood children – 2 boys and 1 girl. The 3 are the product of an interracial relationship – White mother, Black father. The 2 younger ones – the girl and 1 boy – have golden skin and dirty blonde hair. The oldest one, the other boy, has the same skin and brown hair. They’re all very cute children, and very friendly to boot. Everytime I walk by, they say hi and sometimes walk alongside me and talk with me. It’s an interesting dynamic actually. I cannot begin to figure out how many times (DAILY) I’ve heard the parents yelling at these children. I don’t mean the kind of yelling that parents sometimes do when children get out of hand, no. I mean the kind of yelling that sounds like you’re about to pop ALL your blood vessels all at once. So it’s interesting that these children are so friendly when they get yelled at and cursed out multiple times daily.
But, yes, I was walking to my car, and I saw the 1st youngest boy sitting on the steps of one of the houses. I kept walking and saw the girl and the oldest boy. The oldest boy, “David”, said that the girl, “Ruth”, couldn’t do something. As I stopped to ask him what he said again, Ruth turned and faced me, crying. Her right eye was swollen shut. I didn’t know what to do. As she walked towards the edge of the porch, crying, I asked her if she was okay. I knew she wasn’t, but I asked anyway. I couldn’t understand what she or her older brother were saying.
Me – Ruthie ? You ‘kay ?
Ruth – *crying* Yes
Me – You sure ?
Ruth – *crying* Yes
At that point, I saw their father come outside so I quickly told her she would be okay, told them goodbye, and kept walking to my car. I got in my car, text messaged my housemate about it, then drove away. I was bothered by the whole thing and didn’t know what to do about it. The first thing that came to my mind, when I saw her, was that she had been beaten. I hope and pray that is not the case, and I will definitely be praying for the 3 children and their parents.
Back to living on the missional tip – I see so much around the city of Philadelphia that breaks my heart. When I’m in Center City, I see tons of situations. I see homeless people, 1/2 dressed young women with old faces cursing their children out, mentally unstable people, young men walking around talking loud and ignorantly, young women using profanity more than non abrasive language… It’s a heartbreaker. To live as a Christian in Philly, your mindstate must be missional. It is difficult to be here and not pray for these people. For myself, especially, I think about how the Lord moved me from Dallas to Philly for a reason. I think about how I feel everytime I hear a siren; I want to cry. I think about how we’re already past 300 murders in 2007 when they didn’t reach 300 murders last year UNTIL October. I think about the new drug to hit the streets – khat – as if we needed anymore. Man, we don’t need to keep going overseas for missions. There’s a mission field right in the city. People want to go overseas and they end up neglecting the missional needs of the city that they live in.
So… again, what does it look like to live life on purpose ? Jesus Christ didn’t walk around aimlessly. He knew His life’s mission and all 33 years, He worked and fulfilled it. He didn’t wait for opportunities. He didn’t wait for people to come to Him. He was (and is) a proactive Savior. May we, His people, follow His footsteps.