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“i want to cross a border line
and walk on dusty floors
give up two weeks of my life
feed the hungry, clothe the poor
i want to drive up to a homeless man
oh, holding up a sign
hand him my only twenty
God bless him as i say goodbye
but more than this

i wanna give ’em hope
i wanna give ’em peace
i wanna give the greatest of these
give ’em love, love
i wanna tell the truth and lead them to the light
and tell them everything will be alright
give them love, give them Jesus

i wanna walk through something with someone
i wanna listen to their pain
oh, I’ll be a shoulder they can cry on
a friend who’ll never walk away
but more than this

i want to change the world
make it a better place
but is it really
better if they never really know
really know
real hope
real peace
or the greatest of these
real love, love”

~ “give them Jesus”.. by jaci velasquez

Overall I really like this song. There is one line that I really don’t like though… I don’t think it’s meant to come across the way it does to me, but.. it does.

To really be Jesus to people, we have to make it a lifestyle. Our everyday lifestyle. It has to be who we are. More than “giving up two weeks of my life”.. which paints a picture in my mind of separating myself.. my life.. from being Jesus to others. It can’t be “giving up two weeks of my life”… it has to BE my life.

Again, I really don’t think she means it this way, but I have to say what’s on my heart.. because it needs to be said. I’m not sure exactly how to make sense of what I need to say, but here’s my best attempt.

As followers of Jesus, we need to reach out. We need to be there and reach out for other Jesus-followers and also for those who are not. We need to look around us and do what we can to make the world better than it is.

But we cannot take the mindset that we’re giving up part of our lives to do it. The thing is.. my life cannot be separate. It cannot be something set apart from the changes I want to make. I have to be part of it. I have to integrate myself into the lives of those I want to make a difference for, in, and with.

See, I have been on so many missions trips, and I have found that most of the people on the trips with me went with the mindset that they were going to “do”. They were going because they had something in mind that they wanted to accomplish. They wanted to do the t-shirt missions trip experience. You know, the t-shirt missions trip people who go and take cell phone pictures of themselves in the airport bathroom mirrors. And then come home and be like “well, I can check ‘missions trip’ off my list until next summer”. But that isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. Serving God and others was never meant to be a “been there, done that” kind of thing.

If I go someplace – Nicaragua or wherever – and then come home and just go back to my everyday life, not letting my new-found knowledge of how someone else lives or my recent experiences affect me.. if I don’t make sure that I let these things actually change my life, then what’s the point? How heartfelt is it, really?

I think that, if I go somewhere and then return home and don’t let God use those experiences and that knowledge to change my heart and make changes in my life, then I have been completely selfish in why I went in the first place.

I’ve got to be very intentional as I leave major parts of my heart in Nicaragua, and also as I bring pieces of that beautiful land back to the States with me. When I go there, I am not giving up time from my life. I do not come back to the U.S. and just go back to work and my everyday life the same as I was before. I cannot pick up where I left off… and more than that.. I don’t evenĀ want to. I am changed. Forever.

Going back to who I used to be is not an option for me. I refuse to give up two weeks of my life. I choose instead to completely remake my life in light of what I’ve seen God do. To let Him transform who I am and who I want to be.

Nothing compares to letting God remake who we used to be into who He made us to be. Absolutely nothing.