Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Crisis of Conscience

"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard."

Isaiah 58:6-8, ESV (emphasis added)

I'm afraid of reading the Bible sometimes, because I know that I will be held accountable to do what it says.

...Scotty called me today. He's looking for somewhere to stay, as he starts a new job. I told him that I'd "keep my ears open" and let him know if I find out about anything.

As I spoke to him, this Scripture above that I had used in my teaching on Sunday came back to my mind, loud and clear. And I became afraid.

I have to confess here, friends: times like these, I don't want to be a "doer of the Word." I'd much rather be a "hearer only."

Even bringing this up is scary; because now you'll know if (when) I don't follow through. You'll see plain where my heart is.

I really want you all to tell me that I don't have to share my house with this man. I want you to tell me that it would be too complicated. I want you to relieve my conscience. But I know that if you do, I'll not feel any better, and that any justification to let this man fend for himself will just sound like selfishness and fear.

I know what my mother would say if she knew I were even contemplating this. But I've already reached the point in my life where that voice has given way to another. To a Shepherd's voice.

I don't know what to do here. Or rather, I think I may know what to do, but I don't want to do what I know I probably should do. This may well be one of those moments where I demonstrate my goatyness, rather than my sheepyness.

But if there were ever a way to be a do-nothing goat without feeling utterly convicted about it, I need it right now.

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