Moment with the father
Submitted by Gene McCumber, Director of Intercession, TTWM
We're All People Who Need Jesus
So, a little bit about me. I grew up on three acres in rural Chester County. I attended a Christian school K-12. My family was at church whenever the doors were open: Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. My grandfather would take me to church work days. I went on multiple missions trips with my church youth group. I went on outreach trips with groups from school. I sang in both church and school choirs. I stayed well within boundaries that were set for me, and I became an amazing rule-follower and people-pleaser. I joined the United States Marine Corps right out of high school, and those qualities made me very successful.
I was doing everything right. I was following rules and looking amazing on the outside. Meanwhile I was judging everybody else. Even when I thought they were better than I, that's still a judgment. And the people I didn't think were better than I? Wow.
Then we moved to Lebanon. I started leading different things at church including a prayer and worship time on Thursday nights. Somebody started coming to that prayer time, and God used him to open my eyes to some things. His story is the exact opposite of mine. He was staying in a recovery program a couple blocks from the church my family attends. We have next to nothing in common. However, the one absolute thing we do have in common is Jesus. One Thursday night, this guy invited me and my family to have lunch the following Sunday at the house where he lived with fifteen other guys in the recovery program.
My reaction was less than stellar. I came up with some excuse why we couldn't make it, but in my heart it was because I didn't want to be around "guys like that." The invites kept coming, and, eventually, we went. It was AMAZING! God was present in that house. We ate, talked, joked, sang, prayed. I was able to look around the room and see church elders, recovering addicts, worship leaders, and my kids all spending time in community with each other and with God. We started going over there on Sunday afternoons regularly, and it was beautiful. During that season, I got connected with the man who founded the recovery program, and I now participate in a Bible study there. I happen to be the point person, but I wouldn't necessarily call myself the leader. We show up, God shows up, and we share real life.
I'm sure I still judge people because I'm still a human, but God has really shown me that He's a Father who loves all His kids. I'm not better than you; you're not better than me. We're all people who need Jesus.