The other day the plumber – Joseph that I use on a regular basis, came to me looking for work and as we talked he shared some of what was going on in his life. It seems that he met Christian man who had just come from Jos because he had to leave his home in southern Nigerian. This man recently converted to Christianity and is now not welcome in his village so he, his wife and their young daughter came to Jos. Joseph asked me if I knew of any work he could do.
I am not sure how, but somehow he connected with Joseph and he decided to care for him. He took him into his house, gave him food, bought him a mattress, and found him a place to stay. According to Joseph this family shares a single mattress barely big enough for one person. Joseph told me that one day the man came to him and told him he had not eaten for 2 days, so Joseph went and sold his mobile phone in order to buy food for him. He continues to help him.
This kind of thing is common in African culture – taking care of each other, giving a hand up. I was convicted by this story. I rarely allow my self to be inconvenienced like this. People ask me for money and sometimes I give I help them, but I have never allowed them to move in or even find a place for them to live. I have not sold anything of mine in order to help them out.
In the ultimate example of inconvenience and radical love Jesus left the comforts of heaven to become a man and live with us, suffer, and die. God is calling me (and all of his people) to a life radical love not to a life of convenience. A life where we help those in need, and love our enemies.
We need God to show us what this looks like in our individual lives, but this story is a good reminder of what God is calling me to do and I need to walk in obedience. While I do not have any work for this man I am giving him some food to help him through the next few months. A small inconvenience.