In light of Todd’s sermon on Sunday, we asked one of our leaders to blog about his ministry passion. His post is applicable for any of us, whether our calling is to serve in that area or in another! I was the priest and the Levite.
Five years ago, I began discussing abortion with men in my community group. I was passionately pro-life, and I thought everyone else should be too.
By passionately, I believed strongly in the idea of being pro-life. But I had really done nothing. So we began to ask ourselves what our responsibility was.
Then I read the Good Samaritan parable in Luke 10:25-37. I knew the story, but I read it again. It used to be one of my favorite parables until I finally realized that it applied to me.
In the passage, Jesus answers a question from a know-it-all lawyer with a story about a man who falls among thieves and is left half-dead. Jesus says a priest and then a Levite see the man and pass by on the other side. Finally a Samaritan sees him, feels compassion, and takes care of him. Jesus says that this is what we are to go and do.
I was a Levite
I think one of the reasons that Jesus chose the priest and the Levite (another type of minister) for this teaching is that they would have known the scripturally imposed duty to rescue the weak and needy (Psalm 82:34; Proverbs 31:8-9; Deuteronomy 10:18). They just didn’t think that command applied to them, right then.
I assume the priest and the Levite were not “Pro-Robbery.” They had probably never beaten someone half to death and were likely generally opposed to the practice. I imagine them thinking to themselves as they passed, “It’s a shame what has become of our town, and someone somewhere should probably do something about this culture!”
That was my attitude towards abortion. I thought a philosophical stance, a voter registration card, and a lack of abortions in my own life fulfilled my duty. I was a Levite.
That is not what we are called to be when it comes to standing up for righteousness, whether it’s fighting against the injustice of abortion or serving another cause that the Lord calls us to engage in. This realization led me to begin serving alongside others from Watermark at Thrive Women’s Clinic. Thrive’s mission is to extend Christ-like love in a compassionate and responsive manner that values the family and empowers women and their partners to choose life. The clinics provide free pregnancy testing, pregnancy counseling, sonograms, childbirth classes, and material assistance to mothers and their babies.
After training, I began my volunteer work by showing up one night a week to talk to the boyfriends and husbands who came to Thrive. I talked with them about their plans for the pregnancy and their ideas about fatherhood. At the time, my wife was pregnant with our first child. So when visitors would tell me that they were nervous about the pregnancy and the idea of being a dad, I’d tell them I was nervous too. That’s when I told them the good news about the perfect Father. When the Father of compassion has comforted you, you can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
They let me serve here!
The ministry later asked that I join the Board of Directors, and I am in continual wonder that God has let me be a part of this place. God doesn’t need me for His work, but He continues to allow me to be a small part of this thing.
Every week women – and men – walk into Thrive feeling scared and isolated. Thousands have shown up this year, and many walk out knowing that there is a God who cares about them. Every year, hundreds of kids are born in our city who otherwise might not be, because of the hope that saves lives.
I regularly get to see pictures of those babies – and I can’t believe God lets me serve alongside this great ministry and its great people.
Are you serving in a place – inside or outside Watermark – where you feel grateful that God has let you, in all your imperfections and your need of a Savior, be a part of life change? If not, you’re doing it wrong!
For more information about the mission at Thrive or the serving opportunities there, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Or to discover another place to get involved in our city or our world, visit watermark.org/impact.