WWJD

God does the healing work necessary in a peculiar way. He doesn’t just expose the wound, He moves into it – to live there. This is His pattern, Jesus gave the lepers, harlots, tax collectors, Samaritans, and Romans – in fact any of the social outcasts and hated enemies of His day – the one thing no one else would give them: Himself. He came to their homes, their parties, their weddings. He healed their children and drank their wine. What did he do with the untouchable people? He touched them. How did he behave with people whose touch the temple leaders said would defile Him – harlots, for instance? He welcomed their touch. Did He welcome them secretly? No. Openly, publicly.  ~Victoria Brooks

These days, we talk a lot about what Jesus would do. We wear the reminder on our bumper stickers and arms and message boards. WWJD. What Would Jesus do.

God only knows. I can tell you what we often do. We don’t touch, we bolt the door. There are places for those kind of people. The ones we, who so often claim to speak for the heart of God, deem untouchable. We send them away to get a cure and and a haircut and then, when they’re like us, then maybe they can join of us.

I can’t say What Jesus Would Do, but I can certainly see what He did. He touched the untouchables. He didn’t call them untouchable. He called them His children.

I think we should change our lettering to WDJD. What Did Jesus Do.  Jesus gave the lepers, harlots, tax collectors, Samaritans, and Romans – in fact any of the social outcasts and hated enemies of His day – the one thing no one else would give them: Himself. He came to their homes, their parties, their weddings. He healed their children and drank their wine…

Maybe it’s time to stop picketing, protesting, speculating and shunning and to time to start touching.

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About Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

34 responses to “WWJD”

  1. purpleborough says :

    I think I have taken to “last comment”…the comments are great, however, you start the ball rolling!

    • Debbie says :

      Linda –
      I learn so much from everyone here.
      After writing The Fork in the Road for a year and a half, I’ve had about 1/3 as many comments as I had the first 6 months TMG. I love the fact that people participate without argument or defending their positions, but simply as sharing. :D
      Thank you for being one of those whose thoughts I value and who is willing to share!
      ~ Debbie

  2. judikruis says :

    Debbie – your posts are great and comments – added meat to chew…and I love Chaz’s DWJD Do What Jesus Did….action in process, not just thought.

    • Debbie says :

      Judi – I hope people read the comments. They’re very often much more insightful than my posts. Thank you for adding yours!
      ~ Debbie

  3. Chaz says :

    Houston eh? It may very well have been the same minister who came to mind when I read your reply. If so, I mean no criticism of him, in fact, I have one of his cd series on my MP3 player that I have recently listened to in detail and really enjoy his teaching. It is just that I feel my days of being in these kinds of cultures are done… for a while at least.

    When I first became a Christian, I was quite impressed with all of the persuasive arguments about how we were right, and naturaly, but default, most others were wrong. I began to realize how the culture I was a part of was so much about talk. Ideas, theories, theologies, sermons, courses, “resources” (books, tapes, cds, dvds), broadcasts, etc.

    When my life went down the tubes, and I found myself addicted to drugs and alcohol, all the talk became benign. I needed help in a far more practical way. Many church people gave me their theories on addiction and what they felt God said and wanted for me. But it wasn’t until I met those who had ‘done’ recovery that my life got any better.

    It was the ‘do’ based on experience and the results they got that got my attention. Then when I did what they did, I got sober and sane. And whether they knew it or not, it was all based on the Bible. Many non-believers were doing the doing of the Bible and helping others to do the same thing…. and getting results that the talkers and thinkers could never get.

    I wonder if we are reaching a critical mass with ‘talk Christianity’? Non-believers are tired of it. They don’t want to hear our theories and theologies. But when we do as Jesus did? Who would argue with that? Who would argue that Mother Theresa wasn’t a force of good and change?

    Jesus could talk. But he wasn’t just about the talk. He was about the do. To the very end. Wow. Thats huge. Yet we, the North American Church Culture, seem to often limit ourselves to talk. We are really selling ourselves short.

    Great post…. lots is coming out of it.

    • Debbie says :

      Chaz –
      We are so much alike in heart here. My friends that are the most active in serving others are people who don’t consider themselves to be Christians – but they are the true ‘do-gooders’.
      So, we have all these fine people who’ve rejected Christianity, spreading light. I think they’ve rejected the talk because they aren’t seeing the walk.
      Yes, Jesus was “about the do.”
      I always look forward to your insights, Chaz.
      I hope people read them – they’re full of wisdom.
      Thank you again, for talking through this with me.
      ~ Debbie

  4. Debbie says :

    Chaz – your comment is a post in itself.
    Thank you for sharing so much wisdom.
    “Hard to argue with the selfless actions of another. Especially if they doing more than they are saying… even harder if they are saying nothing at all… just doing.”
    I was in Houston last month to meet my son. I drove by a mega-church that had the preacher’s name in letters that must of have been 50 feet high (I’m not really great with distance, so they may have been bigger).
    I’ve heard him on TV – more of a motivational speaker than preacher – but less harmful than most (in my opinion).

    I think you and I have some similarities in our church backgrounds.
    I used to think, if we could only go back to the day when church was about Jesus and encouraging each other to ‘love and good deeds’ we’d be back on course.
    But I don’t know how far back we’d have to go to find that church?
    Maybe 2000 years?
    I’m hoping, instead, we can start being the church – the one with a lot less talk and a lot more action – giving WJD a try!
    Thanks Chaz, for your ever thoughtful comments.
    ~ Debbie

  5. Chaz says :

    Love it! Perhaps we have missed the point in not making a greater emphasis on what Jesus did do, but instead, speculate on what he might do.

    I am in a “do” phase of my life so your post struck me all the more. I recently posed the question, “What if the church stopped talking and debating for 10 years and just ‘did’?” Did what? Did the work of the gospel. Did the things Jesus did.

    What organization of Christians has had the biggest impact on humanity in the past couple hundred years? This question could be answered by a fact: In Canada, the largest social services organization is the Salvation Army. Why? Could it be because their foundations are more in doing than just saying?

    Hard to argue with the selfless actions of another. Especially if they doing more than they are saying… even harder if they are saying nothing at all… just doing.

    What did Jesus do? He healed, forgave, dispensed grace, spoke wisdom, loved, taught, nurtured, accepted. He taught us to even love our enemies.

    What if, instead of doctrinal and political debates, we just DWJD? Maybe we, the church, would not be buying airtime for our multi-media broadcasts. Maybe the networks would be spending their own money doing stories on us.

    Is what we are doing working? If not, why not give WJD a try?

    Ciao.

    Chaz

  6. jelillie says :

    A good word Deb! I was listeming to Todd Agmew’s My Jesus yesterday. We must get this or we will lose our generation!

    • Debbie says :

      Dear Pastor J –
      So true.
      I already see it with my generation which doesn’t bode well for those younger.

      We were the boring, conventional, post-Vietnam generation. Many got married, had families, went to church. But when life began unraveling, church proved to be the least safe of all havens.

      For a majority of my friends, the sad message of being somehow untouchable that’s being communicated to believers and non-believers alike, leaves deep doubt about whether God loves them, since ‘His people’ don’t.

      I’m not sure when the Good News got to be so bad, but it’s everywhere – across denominational lines and ideologies and it breaks my heart.

      As Greg said about, it’s time we get back to the business of loving our neighbor as ourselves. That’s a whole lot of grace and a fierce kind of love!

      ~ Debbie

  7. Step On a Crack says :

    Dear Debbie,

    You. Your prayers are out there. YOU are Here.

    ” Jesus gave the lepers, harlots, tax collectors, Samaritans, and Romans – in fact any of the social outcasts and hated enemies of His day – the one thing no one else would give them: Himself.”

    Yes. THIS is why I read the NT once a year at least and refer to it often. Jesus of the NT was a revolutionary and he included EVERYONE in his fold. EVERYONE. Jesus came. He lived and he died. HE rose again in fulfillment of the scripture. There. The Messiah. He upended most of the OT. His words are full of one word: LOVE. No matter how I read it, I read Inclusion.

    Love. that is the law. I am with Caddo: Change it WDJD

    my parish has a HUGE sign outside: we Welcome EVERYONE! and we do. We have a lot of Gay parishioners. Now, the Archdiocese is not happy about it but that is not what matters. What matters is Love and Community and Faith. We also focus on feeding the poor and doing good works. We pray the rosary too… but good works come first.

    So many of my friends who really WANT Faith are put off by the exclusive nature of what Christianity can look like. It makes me so sad and I often think of leaving the church and just sticking with my Buddhist and Pagan practices. But no. Mass always calls me back and it always will. If I focus on the church that I read about in the NT then I am fine.

    Thank you Debbie. I am glad I am here. I can rest here in Peace and Truth and Love.

    Just like a chapel warm from the sun….

    Love, Jen

    • iamnotshe says :

      Hi Jen, you and i have to talk … I promised a blog about God and religion. To come … as you know, Wednesday was one for the crapper.

      OH and HI DEBBIE! ;-)

    • Debbie says :

      Jen –
      There are days I fear that we Christians are beginning to look more like a political party than representatives of the Good News. We get so worried about ‘condoning sin’ that only saints may enter.
      I’m weary of the politics of religion.

      You know the Edith Wharton quote: “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
      It makes me think of the kind of light we are in the world. Are we a light that draws people and makes them feel safe enough to want more? Or have we become Christian cops, shining spot lights to blind offenders?

      “How did He behave with people whose touch the temple leaders said would defile Him – harlots, for instance? He welcomed their touch. Did He welcome them secretly? No. Openly, publicly.”

      May we be more like Jesus.
      Radical?
      Yes ma’am.
      Let’s be radical and get on with loving folks.
      Thank you so much Jen, for your honest heart here.
      love and grace to you, my friend,
      ~ Debbie

      • Step On a Crack says :

        Dear Debbie,

        You are so clear headed and so Faithful. I think you and Heidi need a TV show. You could HELP so many people and open a REAL dialog in the Christian community. I was thinking of Jesus today (duh) and thinking about what we know he said and DID. (assuming the gospels are accurate translations and record…) NO WAY would have any patience with the harsh judgement of ANYONE. (well, maybe Wall Street; he was NOT happy with the money changers… THAT was revolution right there! His actions show us how he would react to the gross inequity in our culture and the poverty. DID…. not would )

        I am preparing to go to two funerals monday and tuesday; both in the Catholic church. The family is struggling with a suicide. How to say a mass for a suicide?! The church is saying NO. But murder? that is Ok. Now it is a VERY conservative parish. Still. Really? Really? I have deep pools of compassion for any one who is so terribly ill. I think Jesus would have had compassion. I don’t get it.

        Two wonderful gifted loving women are there to help two girls become whole again. Two wonderful women raised these girls to be bright kind strong and they will help them recover and they will be judged?!

        I don’t get not having deep compassion for two women raising and loving two girls, two beautiful children of God. They won’t be able to take communion, these woman. What?! Really!?

        so here I am thinking of Jesus and the last supper and KNOWING that Mary and Mary were at that table. Of course they were. The women were the ones who stood by Him 100%. He appeared to Mary first.

        DID not Would.

        “lets get radical and get on with loving folks!”

        All Y’all hear that! Debbie YOU are one of the finest teachers I have ever had.

        I will carry this with me the rest of Holy Week and into the next and into forever.

        Love, Jen

      • Debbie says :

        Jen – I can’t tell you how much you and those you love have been on my heart and in my prayers.
        Two funerals.
        Too much pain and too little grace.
        You may be the only light they see – but oh do your shine!
        Love,
        Debbie

        Heidi and I were blessed with nearly 25 years of traveling all over the US giving key notes and seminars. It was a dream job. ;)
        I think we’re a little past our TV prime. ;)
        It means a lot just to have you read and say that you’re finding some encouragement. Thank you, Jen.

  8. iamnotshe says :

    I love this. When you write about Jesus, I DO feel touched. I do. Weepy today, my friend. Not much strength to read too many blogs. I dropped my disassociation from my wounds today, and they started to bleed.

    Now i am being touched. Blessings to you my dear friend. XO Melissa

    • Debbie says :

      Oh mel – so sorry I didn’t see this last night – no internet once the fog rolled in. I hope the pain is less today and I pray that the true Lover of you soul is bringing you comfort.
      love headed straight for the windy city,
      ~ Debbie

  9. Noel Williams (prhayz) www.prhayz.com says :

    I’ll have to chew on this one, Debbie. It’s rather thought provoking.

    Thanks for sharing God bless you.

    • Debbie says :

      Noel –
      Kind of a repeat of my comment to Joss – I think it’s pretty presumptive for me to read the Gospels and, from those few words (or even the NT in it’s entirety), say essentially: this is what Jesus would do in this situation.
      I can, however, do what Vickie did and look at what He did and get to it.
      Thanks for being open to thinking through this with me.
      ~ Debbie

  10. Crowing Crone Joss says :

    I’ve often thought that slogan took the onus off of me – hey I don’t need to ask what i should do in this situation, I’ll just think about what Jesus would do. I think it was well intended as a slogan but somehow misses the mark.
    However, one thing I know that Jesus did was spend a lot of time with women! And not because he was sitting at the table waiting to be served.

    • Debbie says :

      Hello Joss –
      I agree. I do think it’s well meaning.
      The danger in slogans is that they can be so catchy, we don’t always think them through. I have a few more of those to toss out one of these days.
      Case in point – your point: I never thought of it as decreasing my responsibility. I’d mostly seen it as presumptive. I can see what you’re saying.
      Jesus was a radical when it came to woman. :D
      Jesus was pretty radical when it came to serving, period!
      We seem to want to make Him ‘old school’ by pouring water into the wine,
      Thanks for your great thoughts!
      ~ Debbie

  11. Jan R Miesse says :

    Yes. What Did Jesus Do – we are to continue His work. Thanks!

  12. Debby says :

    I haven’t been a fan of the slogan either because that’s what it seems to be most often, slogan rather than practice. I am privileged to be hugged regularly by some that have been outcasts. They are my reminders of what Jesus did and does. He touches their hearts.

    • Debbie says :

      Debby-
      Someday, this outcast sure hopes to have a chance to hug you! :D
      Jesus did a lot of touching.
      So do you.
      That’s pretty wonderful!
      ~ Debbie

  13. writinggomer says :

    Never have liked that slogan. Let’s do away with it period. In its place let’s remember the second greatest command, “love your neighbor as yourself”.
    That doesn’t leave too much wiggle room now does it? :)
    Great post Debbie, thanks

    Greg

    • Debbie says :

      Greg, my wise friend –
      No, it certainly doesn’t.
      LOVE – great letters to base our life on!
      Thanks for drawing us home,
      ~ Debbie

  14. Caddo Veil says :

    Amen, Sis Debbie–great word–I’m for changing the slogan. God bless you today!

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