Survival Is Not An Option

School children hunching under desks, pedestrians crouching in gutters, and families hiding in backyard bunkers. During the Cold War, these iconic images were used to inform the public how to respond to a nuclear attack. It gave them hope they could be preserved through the horrors of the atomic age.

Thankfully, the effectiveness of these responses was never tested in real-life. It’s a good thing, too. Somehow it seems doubtful a desk would have shielded anyone from the fury of a nuclear blast.

Yet as comical as those actions seem, I’ve found this same ineffective mentality in my own Christianity. When it comes to the horrors of this corrupt world, I’ve found myself hunkering down hoping they pass me by. I choose not to see the homeless man on the street, offer a ride to the person walking in the rain, or aid the scared girl unexpectedly expecting. It just wouldn’t be convenient, safe, or fashionable for me to help. So I turn away, hoping to shield myself from the horrors of their reality. I try to survive.

But to Jesus, mere survival was not an option. He met Zacchaeus in his home. He talked with the woman at the well. He sided with the adulteress caught in the act. He kept company with prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, outcasts and the homeless. When confronted with the corruption of this world, Jesus never shielded himself from it. Rather, he engaged it to make the world a better place. Where there was brokenness, Jesus got messy by picking up the pieces.

His life calls me to do much more than survive. It calls me to shake the world through the power of his example. And one thing I’ve discovered is that the Cold War mentality of “duck and cover” is just as ineffective at living Christ’s example as it is at protecting anyone from an atomic bomb.

Christ showed us to love others by walking through the fire of their blast instead of shielding ourselves from it. We were made to do more than merely survive. In his image, we’re meant to thrive.

Live The Mission,