Great Commission Week 2021 - Monday Devotional
August 16, 2021
Nancy Donat-- One Collective, Fresno, CA
Senior Area Director for the US: To lead, manage and grow ministry efforts within the United States and to provide organizational leadership.
Ministry Director in Fresno: Disciple and mentor youth and women, serve in leadership with Bethany Inner City Church and our weekly food ministry, seek the peace of our neighborhood and city.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately with my friend David. He is 54 years old, but lives with a mind that is probably closer to 8 years old. David regularly attends our church ministries. Yesterday I was with David at a neighborhood block party. As we were standing in line for grilled hamburgers, I noticed neighborhood police officers mingling around and as they passed by would say, “Hi David!” and then another one, “Hi David!” I was so surprised, ALL the police officers knew David’s name. As one of the officers walked by, I inquired, “How is it that every officer knows David’s name?” The officer laughed and replied, “Oh, we all know David! He is everywhere. He always stops and talks to us, he is our biggest fan!”
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the joy it is to be seen and to be known. Especially if you are a person that happens to be on the margins of society. In John 9 Jesus is walking along and sees a man on the margins. He sees a man who has been blind from birth. He sees in a way that is different then his disciples. He sees in a way that makes me think he knows this man. I’m pretty convinced that Jesus knew what it was like for this blind man as a child, his daily isolation, his internal frustration and lost potential. He sees the shame he endures sitting and begging.
This knowing is in direct contrast to his neighbors in verses 8-9 who say, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!” This man’s neighbors, those in closest proximity to him, didn’t know him!!! Did they not see him, was he invisible to them? It makes me want to cry out and ask, “Do we know our neighbors?”
The invitation is to get to know our marginalized neighbors, for if we don’t, we miss out on the mutual transformation that happens, we miss the miracles that God wants to do in our lives. And ultimately, we will miss getting to know Jesus better.
We, each one of us, have the privilege to carry out the great commission to the invisible around us. Those who get ignored and face oppression are ones Christ wants us to show great love to. Oh God, give us eyes to see and hearts to know what small acts of great love we can do to those who are marginalized around us.
Please pray for God’s protection over David, for safe and stable housing.
Pray for wisdom as I oversee the ministry of One Collective in various communities across the US.
Pray for God’s grace and wisdom as I care for and raise Matthew. Pray that God would capture Matthew’s heart.
Pray for a decrease in violence and a discipleship movement to take hold in the Lowell neighborhood.