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Monday, July 14, 2014

Being like Nathan (Christ)

I talk a lot about "surrendering our entire lives" to God - acting like Christ.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone really understands what that means (including myself).

Are there really people in the world that are selfless enough to be like Christ?

There are.

Francis Chan in his book, "Crazy love," writes about a man by the name of Nathan Barlow.  Nathan was a medical doctor who chose to utilize his skills in Ethiopia for more than sixty years (and I am quoting Francis Chan here). 

Nathan dedicated his life to helping people with mossy foot.  Mossy foot is a debilitating condition primarily found in rural districts, on people who work in soil of volcanic origin.  It causes swelling and ulcers in the feet and lower legs.  The subsequent deformity, swelling, repeated ulceration, and secondary infection make people with mossy foot social outcasts equivalent to lepers."

Francis Chan writes, "I met Nathan shortly before he died.  His daughter, Sharon Daly, attended my church and brought him to her home from Ethiopia when his health started to fail.  After only a few weeks, he couldn't handle being in the States.  The people he loved were still in Ethiopia, so his daughter flew him back home so he could spend his last days there.

Once, Nathan got a toothache, the pain of which was so intense that he had to fly away from the mission field to get medical attention.  Nathan told the dentist that he didn't ever want to leave the mission field for the sake of his teeth again, so he had the dentist pull out all of his teeth and give him false ones so he wouldn't slow God's work in Ethiopia.

This amazing man was the first to help these outcasts, and he spent his life doing it.  yet he died quietly, without a lot of attention; no one really knew about him.

Finally, Chan writes, "It surprised me that such a man of God would faithfully serve for so many years, despite minimal recognition.  It is a beautiful thing to witness."
What an amazing, crazy love for God. 

Am I that kind of servant? 

Are you that kind of servant?

Here's what I know: God is probably not calling you to go to Ethiopia, but he is calling all of us to lay aside ourselves, serve others as Christ has served us - and do what we can to make this planet a better, holier place.

Just a thought for a Monday.

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