by David Z. Nowell
I am not one to give a long review or spend a lot of time going over the book. I usually like to give the reader a small taste and let them know what effect it had on me. However, there is so much in this book that needs to be brought out, you may just find yourself in my longest review yet! (There will also be quite a number of quotes!)
What is “dirty faith”? How do we relate to “the least of these”? God calls us to, but how? And what does that mean? The least of these. The person sitting alone on the street asking for money? The thousands of children in foster care and state homes? The homeless? The cashier at Wal-Mart? Your waiter at dinner last night?
It has become a habit of mine to listen to God as I am at a store checking out. I ask Him if this is a person I need to be praying for. If I get a “yes”, I will ask the cashier if there is anything going on in her life I could be praying for. Maybe 2% say “no”. An overwhelming amount will tell you yes and sometimes share some really big things that they are dealing with. Sometimes it’s just a simple “my family” with tears welling in their eyes.
So often, when we go on mission trips and even ask people how they are doing, we have this “power and position, and you do not” attitude. “I have Jesus; you don’t. Unfortunately, I think it is precisely the perspective we often bring to our interaction with the poor, not just in spiritual matters, but in all things. The giver operates from a position of power and privilege. The recipient, by definition, is the inferior.”
David continues, “Relationship with others is integral to our relationship with God. Jesus’ indictment is that, if we are not capable of having a relationship with His brothers and sisters, then we do not have a relationship with Him. Not a gray judgement here. It’s black and white. No relationship with my brothers and sisters in these circumstances, no relationship with me (Jesus). Determinate, not just indicator.”
He also says, “I cannot begin to tell you how many times someone has said to me something along the lines of ‘It is such a wonderful work you are doing, but God just has not called me to that.’ Well, actually, yes, He has. Perhaps not to adopt, or even to foster, but He has called you to care for the orphan.”
I could continue to quote this book all day.
David Z. Nowell is the President of Hope Unlimited for Children. This is a refuge for children that are living on the streets, prostituting themselves out so they can survive (at VERY early ages), and doing whatever it takes to make it. This is a place where they can feel loved, learn about Jesus, and feel safe. Unfortunately, many children are more fearful of the unknown, so they are more comfortable living on the streets. David’s goal is to show Jesus to them. Not just for a week or two on a short term trip. He once asked a girl what she enjoyed about her mission trip and the young lady answered with the typical answer of showing them Jesus. His response was, “You were the face of God for them, and you left. You came back to your comfortable life, and those girls are still on the streets every night selling their bodies to strangers What did you really tell them about God?”
He, in no way, is against short term missions, but the point of this book is that we love to write a check and not get our hands dirty. Jesus came here as an example of how to do EVERYTHING. We are to relate to others just as He did. He became a servant. Physically, not with money and well wishes. He got his hands dirty.
I hope you will take a look at Hope Unlimited. There are a few different things he is involved in that one is bound to speak to you. Check out this resource page and see where and how God is calling you.
It is always scary to step out in faith, but look at everyone in the Bible that God called faithful. It was always the weak, the “least of these” and the ones that stumbled through life. The difference is, they got back up and asked God “what’s next?”.
Please pick up a copy of this book and then another one for a friend. It’s completely reasonable at $8.99.
Dirty Faith: Bringing the Love of Christ to the Least of These
Thank you, so much, netgalley! I appreciate the book and, as always, this is my honest review. Here’s to many more!