Last summer I created a film called Riva. In the film my character, Riva, is homeless. She is wandering, lost, and in great pain. Her hands won’t stop bleeding. She wears gloves to cover them. She is an outcast, starred at, and yet ignored.
There is a scene where Riva encounters a kind waitress at a cafe. This waitress sees Riva – really sees her – sits down next to her, treats her as a fellow human, and gives her an unexpected gift – a compass that will guide her to find healing for her bleeding hands.
I won’t spoil the end as we haven’t yet released the film. But it’s that moment – that interaction with the waitress – that is the turning point for Riva. She who was once hopeless now has hope. She who was once wandering now has direction.
I think about that waitress, and her compassion, and how Christlike she is. And I think about Riva, and how we are so like her – wanderers, none of us better than any other, each of us with our own share of pain. And Christ in all His compassion sits down next to us and He says:
“You’re hurting, aren’t you?”
It’s less of a question than an acknowledgement of our brokenness – our bleeding hands – our sin, shame, trails and suffering. He meets us right where we’re at and He points us in the direction to find healing – not just the bandaid this world tries to offer – but true healing for our souls. Christ not only gives us a compass we can follow. He is the compass we can follow.
I think about this life, and how we have the opportunity to be that waitress character to those who are broken and bleeding, lost and lonely. We have the opportunity to be like Christ and in doing so, to point others to Him. We have the opportunity to bring a little more of His kingdom here on earth.
Next month I will have the opportunity to play the humble role of being the hands and feet of Jesus to bring hope and healing to those who need it. I have the opportunity to go on my own journey of my very first mission trip. I will be traveling to South Africa with a group of young adults from Foundry at Bel Air Church.
Bel Air believes in the power of partnering with other churches across the globe. One of those partners is Maranatha Church in Kempton Park, South Africa. They have a ministry that works closely with a Zulu church in KwaZulu Natal. In partnership we get to come alongside the global church and support the ministry that they are already doing.
We don’t come with all the answers. We come open to learning from them and offering all that we have. Among other ministry, we’ll be doing community outreach, helping with a church conference, visiting people in their homes, and working with children.
In order to go on this mission, I need your help: I need your prayers, and I would greatly appreciate your financial contribution as I must raise $2,500 to cover the cost of the journey.
I’ll be quite honest with you – I’m a bit nervous to take this trip. It will stretch me beyond my comfort zone, no doubt. And it will surely require sacrifices.
And yet, when I think of the sacrifices that Jesus made on his part for all mankind the ones I may be asked to make pale in comparison. In His great love, He saw us, you and me, He acknowledged our sin and the resulting pain and separation from God, and He chose to journey to the cross and pay the ultimate sacrifice of giving His life for us. He endured the most excruciating pain so that we could be truly healed. Jesus Christ offered up His life so that we could experience life to the full; the least I can do is offer up mine to Him.
Christ doesn’t call us to live comfortable lives; He calls us to live radical lives. He doesn’t call us to sit where we are; He calls us up and calls us out to love, to serve, to be His witnesses, and to point others to Him – that they, too, would experience the hope and the healing that we have found in Him.
Would you help us – my amazing team who will be traveling to South Africa August 12-24 – by partnering with us to make our journey possible?
Giving of our time, resources, bodies and souls is not easy. But when we take that first step, Jesus undoubtedly uses it to change us and mold us and shape us to be more like Him. And who knows what journey, what measure by which to stretch us, He may ask of us to embark upon next.
I know this mission trip will stretch me, but I am confident in His provision, and I know that it’s in the stretching that we grow. It’s in the answering of His call that we are blessed to be the instruments of His love to this world – to be His hands and His feet.
When Rebekah was called by God in Genesis 24, she did not hesitate. She did not wait. Her bags were packed and ready to leave the following morning.
And so, I will be encouraged by her words in verse 58, and I will answer this call from God as she did:
“‘I will go,’ she said.”
“You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail. It’s there I find you in the mystery; in oceans deep my faith will stand.” – Hillsong United, Oceans
“You have called me higher, You have called me deeper. I’ll go where you will lead me, Lord.“ – All Sons and Daughters, Called Me Higher
“And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea and all Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
*You may watch the Riva trailer here.
**And you may donate to our South Africa mission trip here.