“LAST ONE THERE’S A ROTTEN EGG!!”
It was a Thursday afternoon and I had somehow found myself walking (okay, running) around my apartment complex with twelve little kids. My roommate and I are a CARES Team with Apartment Life so we partner with the leasing staff to plan different social events for the community. I had just picked up a few flyers from the leasing office to promote the event we were planning in a few days and walked outside to find this swarm of children abandoning their bikes and scooters in the courtyard and scrambling towards me.
“HIIII SANG!!! What are you doing??!”
“Hi! I’m just hanging up flyers for our event on Sunday.”
“Oh! Can we help? We can do it for you!! Can we??”
“Ha, sure! You guys can come with me if you want!”
“YEA!!!!!!!!!!” the twelve shouted in unison at the top of their lungs.
“Where are we going to hang them??” they asked.
“Where do you think?”
“Hm…the laundry room??”
“Yea!!! LAST ONE THERE’S A ROTTEN EGG!!!”
And just like that, they were off!! A hodgepodge of children, ages 6-12, with their scooters and bikes clanging around the sidewalks headed to the laundry room, picking up more kids for the journey along the way.
Ha! What is happening?? I laughed as I followed behind the little motley crew that formed.
I went with the flow for the next few stops at the common areas of the complex and then we headed back to the courtyard, where we started our little adventure. They clamored to hold my hand and sit/stand next to me as they taught me the latest dance moves (did everyone else already know how to “hit the Quan” ??). The courtyard filled with laughter and then it was time for me to leave.
“No! Don’t go!” The little ones ran up to hug me. “Where do you live, Sang?? Do you live here?? Can we come over?? Yea!! Can we??”
Up until this point, only one resident had been in our apartment, and that wasn’t exactly a planned visit (we’ll say God invited her and forgot to tell us. :P). Yes, my roommate and I both feel like God placed us in this complex to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31), but our little apartment is our home, our safe haven, and surely, we have the right to keep it secure from outsiders, right? I was able to prevent the flock of children from following me home this time but told them they could come over in the future with their parents’ permission….and then I literally RAN home, ha! :X
Once I got back in the comforts of my little safe haven, I paused to process what had happened. The way these kids clamored to hold my hand, hug me, and be near me reminded me of the children I met in Africa…the orphans I met in Africa. These children were no different than those orphans…they are CRAVING attention and desperately want to be LOVED! I don’t know the family background of each of these kids, but I do know that there are a lot of immigrant and single-parent families in our complex, so in a very real way, these children represent the orphaned, the widowed, and the foreigner.
Jesus gave up all His rights as God when He came to earth. Philippians 2:5-8 says:
5 The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had:
6 He always had the nature of God,
but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God.
7 Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had,
and took the nature of a servant.
He became like a human being
and appeared in human likeness.
8 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death—
his death on the cross.
And then He tells his disciples in John 20:21 that He sends them out in the same way that God the Father sent Him to earth.
This has been challenging me ever since that flyer day with the kids. If I really believe that Jesus has sent me into the world the same way that God sent Him, then what rights do I have to give up like He did in order to love those around me like He did?
- The right to comfort
- The right to privacy
- The right to my time/schedule
- The right to be liked
- The right to my reputation
- The right to spend my free time with my friends
- The right to be understood
Whew! I have been humbled in the past few weeks as I think about all of the ways I am choosing to hold on to my rights instead of laying them down like my God did for me. I look forward to the day when our apartment will be filled with these little children who are craving the love and attention that they may or may not be receiving at home. I look forward to the day when our apartment becomes a safe haven for the orphan, the stranger, the widow, the lonely, and the hurting to flock to. I look forward to the day when I will meet my Savior face-to-face and He says, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for Me.”