I used to be the kind of Christian who stormed mountains, fought to establish beachheads, and charged forward to do anything I could to push back the gates of hell in the battle to bring forth the kingdom of God and to bring people to Jesus.
I don’t do that anymore.
It’s not that I am less passionate about Jesus than I was. Or that I am less committed to Kingdom-advancement.
It’s just I’ve changed.
When I was a run-through-the-wall-for-Jesus-leader kind of a guy, I had a clear leadership philosophy: run with the fast ships.
I would often say that the only folks I really wanted to work with were the fast ships and the lost ships… either radical discipleship or far-out evangelism. The in-between didn’t interest me much. Luke-warm, wounded, wishy-washy, wandering, wondering…
And in many respects, that is what FRONTLINE ministry is all about: fast ships and lost ships, not sight-seeing or set-adrift ships.
I spent ten years on the front. I have the battle scars to prove it.
But now I am not on the frontlines anymore. And when you are a veteran back home — instead of out on the front — you realize that a lot of the folks who you thought were sight-seeing or set-adrift are actually wounded and recovering from being on the front too.
I am meeting a lot of wounded and recovering folks these days.
And I am wondering if maybe just loving and caring and extending grace to the wounded isn’t actually a pretty important ministry. Maybe Jesus has the front taken care of and doesn’t need us as much as we thought… or maybe he does, and now that season has passed for me. Either way, the wounded and recovering have grabbed a part of my heart. They have served well in the past, and now just need to be loved and cared for and encouraged and walked with.
Maybe I will be called to the front again sometime. I kind of doubt it — usually you don’t go back. But you never know.
But for the time being, I am okay simply loving and caring for and showering with grace those wounded who are around me.
Maybe we have fought the good fight… and now it is someone else’s turn.