This post is from 2013, and a lot has changed for Jordan since that time. However, this reveals her heart and her honesty along with a heavy dose of God's truth: compassion is little more than pity until it is put into action. I am blessed by Jordan's writing, by her story, and by her heart. I have been blessed to know her since she was in pre-school. Be blessed by this precious heart and this great writer. — Phil Ware
I don’t know how to articulate the change that’s going on in me. I can’t express the plans I have to turn that change into action. All I know is that God is revealing truths to me about my ignorance, my pride, and my preoccupations that rock my core.
I live in a two-story house; I worship the white man's God; I have an obsession with cute shoes; I spend an obscene amount on fast-food, and I know that one block away from my house a woman was shot and murdered a few years ago by her boyfriend. I sit in this room and contemplate and conversate and ruminate over the struggles of the poor man and the oppressed man. Of course, I get to leave the streets to crawl obliviously into my double bed with the three-inch orthopedic mattress topper I found on E-Bay so I could comfortably read more about those struggling folks I don’t know.
But, I do know them. Yesterday. I saw one. I saw one walking down a nearby road with a limp and three grocery bags, setting down the bags every few steps to catch her breath. I see one standing on the corner at Wal-Mart with a sign nearly every time I go to spend money on those things I "just can’t live without"!
And then, there’s Jesse. Six-years-old and a bit small for his age with the most genuine gold-capped tooth smile. Jesse, the homeless kid in class whose mom is a stripper. The nights she works, he stays with his teenage aunt in the hotel room they live in with his 4-year-old and 10-month-old brothers. Jesse, who knows all his letters and numbers and reads better than any student in his kindergarten class, but he will never be taught how to rise above his circumstances because he’ll just be learning how to survive. Jesse, a little boy who left halfway through the semester to go to his fourth elementary school in a year because his mom is running from CPS.
And I cried that day. But then I went back to my side of town to play private school soccer and make semi-funny jokes and do my Bible homework. Just another day in the life of me. So my tears dried up pretty nicely.
What good are tears if they don’t clean out the dirt and grime and indifference and inaction from within me?
Jesse will never see my tears. He doesn’t care about my tears. He has his own. But it made me feel better to cry it out. Tears make me feel like I care, that I genuinely sympathize, and like I’m a good person for feeling sorry for them. I’m sure those struggling folks are really happy I feel sorry for them.
You see, I claim to be color-blind. But really, I’m just blind. Blinded by my passions, my pursuits, my people. But mostly blinded by my self-righteous, vain, futile tears. The tears that convince me that I’m doing something. The tears that run down my face and fall aimlessly on hard, cold ground so they can dissipate into nothingness. The tears that evolve from that place deep within me that is angry at the injustices, marginalization, and rejection of God’s people. The same place that action is born and dies.
So, here’s to replacing tears for warfare. Because Jesse doesn’t need tears, he needs a battle waged in his name. Because teams don’t give him a home, or a better mom, or a good education, or a future. I’m laying down my warm fuzzies. I'm exchanging my pocketed hands for fists of indignation.
Jesus never just sat. He walked, healed, glorified, baptized, praised, preached, led, disciplined, cared for, ministered. And if he was ever tired, he knelt.
I am kneeling. I am kneeling that I may stand. I want to stand and be your hands and feet. And heart. I want you to stir within me so greatly and unmistakably that I am physically moved out of my seat. I finally understand the purpose of my formation. I am formed not so that I can be your best follower or favorite daughter. Not so that I can feel good about my religiosity. Not so that I can be a great Christian leader in the church and impress others by how many verses are underlined in my bible. But so that I can better serve my brothers and sisters. I am born again so that I can constantly be transformed and reformed in your likeness, which enables me to walk, heal, glorify, baptize, praise, preach, lead, disciple, care for, and minister.